Olafur Eliasson creates waterfall in Versailles palace show

AP News
Posted: May 02, 2016 1:24 PM
Olafur Eliasson creates waterfall in Versailles palace show

PARIS (AP) — Artist Olafur Eliasson is vowing to turn visitors into explorers in his summer project at the palace of Versailles outside of Paris.

The renowned 49-year old artist, who grew up in Iceland and Denmark, presented his June 7-Oct. 30 exhibition on Monday.

In the palace's famed 17th-century gardens, Eliasson will have three water-related installations. One will create a spectacular waterfall in front of the palace, reviving the initial vision —never realized— of Andre Le Notre, principal gardener to King Louis XIV.

"The waterfall is an attempt to finalize, to make the impossible possible, to make the dreams come true," he said.

Other installations in the gardens will deploy a circle of mist —which will change with the weather— and blocks of ice and debris of dust and rock that are left behind when a glacier retracts.

Inside the palace, the artist will deploy "subtle spatial interventions" integrated in its baroque architecture so visitors have to "explore" the place if they want to make sure they don't miss any pieces of art.

"I work with nature phenomenon very often, I work with light, dematerialization, ephemera, and maybe sometimes psychology," Eliasson said.

Eliasson said he explored the palace alone at night with only a flashlight, and found the place "very vibrant" creatively.

Last year, Anish Kapoor's exhibition at Versailles prompted violent controversy over a sculpture that had a sexual connotation.

The palace of Versailles' president, Catherine Pegard, said contemporary art exhibitions are a way "to show that Versailles does not remain frozen in the past."