Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Olafur Eliasson seized the Palace of Versailles but fails to dazzle us – Télérama.fr

After Anish Kapoor, it was the turn of the Danish artist Olafur Eliasson to settle at Versailles, with spectacular rooms, and even for some mesmerizing. Yet one leaves disappointed with this exhibition, the references to the Sun King prove too literal.

There, in the Hall of the bull’s-eye, these two round mirrors facing each other. The first is plunged in darkness, the second lit a warm light. Sun black or flamboyant? As to choose between these two haunting works, so take the first who, against all odds, illuminates the face of the one who watches it. Farther down the hall of mirrors: “Your sense of unity” , a set of circles of iron and light that match those of the marble floor. Mirrors again. And our reflection that occurs there indefinitely. At the king’s guards, bare room with gilded moldings, two round mirrors hanging from the ceiling, separated from the other by a fire of light, circling in the air. In the garden, a giant waterfall planted in the Grand Canal. And a mist ring at the Grove of the star, which is born a rainbow sky in good weather. Many mesmerizing facilities plastically perfect, that titillate our senses of perception. Once again, Olafur Eliasson, the Danish artist of Icelandic origin now living in Berlin, and now invited to exhibit at Versailles, hits hard. So what did we get out of there disappointed, staying hungry?

Perhaps because the artist had accustomed us to seize the exhibition spaces in their entirety, thinking his work as a set designed specifically for the scene, which inevitably question our relationship to the world and the place we want to occupy. We were so amazed at the Vuitton Foundation in 2015. Versailles, due to the gigantism of the field, exercise is more difficult. And parts, far from forming a whole, appear scattered over a large territory they too fail to encompass, losing their strength. Especially since many appear like repetitions. The waterfall on the Grand Canal? She furiously reminiscent designed for the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. The reflection of visitors multiplied by the mirrors of “ Your sense of unity” ? One thinks of the perennial plant of the Vuitton Foundation.

Finally, the speech underpinned by these works leaves skeptical. When we met the artist in April, he said he wanted to explore different themes, making each visitor a king, think about the Declaration of the Rights of Women Olympe de Gouges. None of that here, if not a little too literal reference to the former owner, the Sun King. Remains the most discreet installation of this set, so discreet they do not see it. It nevertheless welcomes the audience at the entrance of the Hercules Salon. Is a mirror planted outside in front of windows. It finds himself facing you, watching his double. Perhaps this is the work that speaks best of Versailles, which cuts the power of reality and lets you grow with a court composed of clones, unable to watch the rest of the world. And so to see nothing coming out when the rumbling revolt.


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