The Palace of Versailles has turned itself over to Danish contemporary artist Olafur Eliasson from June 6th to October 30th, 2016. Step into Eliasson’s world of fantasy and dreams in seven improbable and monumental works on the estate.
After being nominated for this project, Eliasson said he was “excited to be working in a place as emblematic as Versailles. The Palace and its gardens are full of meaning and history, politics, dreams and vision, and it’s an exalting challenge to create an artistic intervention that shapes visitors’ feelings and offers a contemporary point of view of this strong cultural heritage.
This artist is known for creating spectacular art installations that are often inspired by a specific cause, like the well-known Weather Project (2003) at the Tate Modern in London drawing more than two million people, or the New York City Waterfalls (2008), four large artificial waterfalls installed along the riverbanks in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
For the Palace of Versailles, the artist will be taking over the gardens, transforming the waterways with three misty installations.
An enormous waterfall was added to the Grand Canal (with an incredible and inaccessible diving board!), while the fountain at the Colonnade grove is fixed in place by morainal action, making us think that time stands still in this historic estate. “Versailles will always be Versailles,” it seems to say.
Walking through the gardens, you can literally disappear in the misty abyss. A thick and refreshing mist installation called “Fog Assembly” is set up at the Star Grove!
Five works that selfie fans will enjoy can be found in the castle! Mirrors, lighting and photobooth elements are all there to make good memories.
From the first room in the Palace visit, you’ll notice our reflection in the window. You can take pictures with your “double” on the other side of the window! In another room, an ellipse of light makes it possible to take fisheye photos in the Versaille setting, with the extravagant doors, chimneys and windows.
The last piece of the installation is both fascinating and disturbing; a pair of eyes stuck to a window looking out over the gardens. With the eyes about 5 feet off the ground, those tall enough can snap a picture of themselves in the moment at Versailles with a new set of eyes (unfortunately, we weren’t tall enough to try!).
This is a truly great exhibition that many visitors will can enjoy this summer!
Website. Olafur Eliasson at Versailles
When: From June to November 2016
Where: Château de Versailles
Hours: Every day from 8am-8:30pm
Prices: Free access to the gardens (besides the Grandes Eaux water exhibition, 15€ for access to the palace, free for European Union citizens under 26
From 6 June 2016 to 30 October 2016
Château de Versailles
accès château, -26 ans: Free
accès château: 15 €