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Joana Vasconcelos at Versailles

September 29, 2012

Starting in 2008 the Palace of Versailles has been exhibiting different modern artists throughout the State apartments and the gardens. From June 19 to September 30 2012 Joana Vasconcelos is presenting her work.

I was not crazy about all the work shown and was kind of annoyed because I felt some of it interrupted the beauty of the space. But I do appreciate that a place like Versailles opens it’s doors and shares the space with modern artists.

Coração Independente Preto, 2006
[Black Independent Heart]

Coração Independente Vermelho, 2005
[Red Independent Heart]

Red and Black Independent Heart are made out of plastic cutlery and are hung from the ceiling on either side of the Hall of Mirrors; the former, in the Peace Salon; the latter, in the War Salon. The hearts replicate the heart of Viana (an iconic piece of Portuguese jewelry). The black and red colors represent passion and death, war and peace.

Marilyn, 2011
This large scale pair of high-heeled sandals are made out of stainless steel pans and lids are positioned at the south end of Hall of Mirrors. The artist says this about the work, “The monumental pair of sandals refers the visitor to the accomplishments of the absent female figure, as grandiose as the glories celebrated by Louis XIV through the paintings of Le Brun, now reflected on Marilyn’s cold metallic surface”.

The Valkyries series which includes Mary Poppins, Royal Valkyrie, & Golden Valkyrie (photos below) are huge tentacular knitted fabric sculptures which are hung from the ceiling in 3 areas of the chateau.

Mary Poppins, 2010

Royal Valkyrie, 2012

Golden Valkyrie, 2012

Lilicoptère, 2012
Lilicoptére sits in the 1830 Room. It is a Bell 47 helicopter covered in a ostrich feathers, Swarovski crystals, gold leaf, industrial coating, dyed leather upholstery embossed with fine gold, Arraiolos rugs, & walnut wood. It’s supposed to represent a machine into an animal but I just thought it was fun and pretty.

Vitrail, 2012
Vitrail is a large scale tapestry which fills up one of the archways in the Queen’s Staircase. I loved this piece (mostly because it reminded me of my own work) but also because it reminded me of a geometric stained glass window.

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