A waterfall gushing from an invisible source is enough to make one stop and stare, so the sight of one splashing down in the middle of the gardens of the Palace of Versailles is really something of a spectacle. This is just one of Olafur Eliasson’s ingenious installations which have been strewn throughout the manicured gardens and glittering halls of the famous French landmark. Three outdoor works revolving around water and several phenomenal indoor creations make up the Danish-Icelandic artist’s transformative exhibition as part of an annual series that sees the Palace transfigured by an influential contemporary artist.
Eliasson explains his approach to the event: “The Versailles that I have been dreaming up is a place that empowers everyone. It invites visitors to take control of the authorship of their experience instead of simply consuming and being dazzled by the grandeur. It asks them to exercise their senses, to embrace the unexpected, to drift through the gardens, and to feel the landscape take shape through their movement.” Beside the waterfall, which was inspired by Lous XIV’s unrealized vision for the garden, Eliasson has also created a mystical veil of fog, and altered the indoor architecture with ethereal light and mirrors that throw reflections to trick the eye.
Running from June 7 to October 30, 2016, Eliasson’s work plays with perspective and imagination, inviting visitors to interact with the ornate landmark and effectively breathe new life into the iconic tourist attraction.
Deep Mirror (Yellow) in the Salon de l’Oeil de Boeuf
Solar Compression in the Salles des Gardes du Roi
The Curious Museum in the Salon d’Hercule
The Gaze of Versailles in the Galerie Basse
Glacial Rock Flour Garden in the Bosquet de la Colonnade
Fog Assembly in the Bosquet d’Etoile
Images via Anders Sune Berg.