Olafur Eliasson at the palace of Versailles

After Jeff Koons in 2008, Xavier Veilhan in 2009, Takashi Murakami in 2010, Bernar Venet in 2011, Joana Vasconcelos in 2012, Giuseppe Penone in 2013, Lee Ufan in 2014 and Anish Kapoor in 2015, the palace of Versailles has now presented what could very well be one of their most spectacular exhibitions.

After Koons, Murakami, Venet, Vasconcelos, Penone and Kapoor: Olafur Eliasson

This time it is Olafur Eliasson, the acclaimed Danish-Islandic artist, who has been given the chance to use his signature mind-bending waterfalls and mirror installations to create a dialogue between his work and the luxurious classical surroundings.

The results are simple stunning. There is a huge artificial waterfall in the garden, a fog assembly emitting mysterious clouds of mist and a Glacial rock flour garden imported from Greenland replacing the usual grey floor in front of the famous colonnades. Inside the palace, Eliasson presents 6 further installations. This time he uses light and mirrors for his space interventions.

As the President of the Château de Versailles, Catherine Pegard, explains in the press release: “With Olafur Eliasson, stars collide, the horizon slips away, and our perception blurs. The man who plays with light will make the contours of the Sun-King’s palace dance.”

Mirrors and grandeur, Versailles revisited

Of course the palace has its own rather well know collection of mirrors, but the artist uses his own methods to add to this. As he writes on his own website: “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.”