This summer, Olafur Eliasson brings a sequence of spatial interventions to the Palace of Versailles — with waterfalls, fog, mirrors, and light landscapes installed around the gardens and château interior. Eliasson joins a list of internationally-acclaimed artists asked to curate a dialogue between their artwork and the architecture of the French landmark, over the last eight years.

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The exhibition is organised in two parts: a series of outdoor works situated around the picturesque grounds, and pieces placed within the ornately-decorated palace.

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Speaking of the project Olifur Eliasson said; “The palace and its gardens are so rich in history and meaning, in politics, dreams, and visions, it is an exciting challenge to create an artistic intervention that shifts visitors’ feeling of the place and offers a contemporary perspective on its strong tradition. I consider art to be a co-producer of reality, of our sense of now, society, and global togetherness.”

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In the gardens, three monumental installations deal with various states of water — fluid, fog, and absence, as indicated by a glacial rock flour. Eliasson continues one of the most significant projects of his oeuvre with a new ‘Waterfall’ erected in the grand canal. Positioned on the central axis of the garden, this latest iteration sees a surge of water rush down from a soaring crane above the landscape.

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The installation subtly pays homage to Louis XIV’s landscape architect Andre Le Notre, and his unrealized vision of creating a waterfall in the palace’s gardens. expanding upon the theme of water, Eliasson’s ‘Fog Assembly’ surrounds visitors in a hazy landscape, enveloping them within a circular veil of fine mist. At the colonnade, a carpet of glacial residue has been placed within a circular opening on the floor, surrounded by the site’s magnificent thirty-two arches with twenty-eight fountains.

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Inside the château, Eliasson has deployed a series of installations that use mirrors and light to active the space. While the furnishings of the rooms remain unchanged, the interiors are enhanced through a multiplication of perspectives created by a sequence of mirrors. Visitors discover their own reflection in unexpected locations, modifying the perception of the rooms, and inviting them to become active participants in the reality that surrounds them.

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