Joana Vasconcelos at Versailles
There is currently an exhibition in Versailles which, as it does every year, is creating a polemic around “what’s art and what’s not “, and more specifically “what sort of art should be allowed in the Versailles castle?”. Is it really a scandal to find modern art in the Chateau Versailles? We think it’s the place to visit this summer!
This time it is Joana Vasconcelos, a Portuguese artist who is under scrutiny. She makes a lot of sculpture work about women’s place in society. Sometimes for fun, sometimes to criticise society, but almost always based on daily life objects: a big red heart, iconic in portugal, this time built up out of plastic cutlery to represent the traditional music “Fado” played in restaurants; a huge chandelier made out of Pommery champagne bottles; a giant octopus made in fabric… and even a chandelier made out of tampons, which makes quite a nice illusion from distance.
I always find those kinds of debates about art interesting. One of her most criticised pieces is “Marilyn”, a huge stiletto made out of saucepans obviously questioning the status of contemporary women and the relation between past, future tradition and modern times. Joana’s tampon chandelier was even not allowed to be presented in this exhibition.
This follows Jeff Koons‘ polemic during the same exhibition in Versailles in 2008, which was considered as excessive, insolent, indecent and vulgar. Same for Takashi Murakami in 2010, with his Manga style sculpture where the president of the palace was attacked for being disrespectful of the building and the ancestor.
Ultimately, it’s a really subjective topic but it’s good to remember that Versailles was originally one of the first contemporary art galleries in the world. It was always a place for presentation of all sort of arts, full of life, and not always a sacred patrimony like nowadays.
The Joana Vasconcelos exhibition runs until 20 September, so until the end of this summer you can enjoy this exhibition, and the noise around it :). Should you not be able to visit the exhibition, then I’d recommend to take a look at the website to see more detailed images.
In: Art, Events, Exhibitions, Ooh that's nice, Product design, Structural design · Tags: chateau Versailles, contemporary art, Exhibition, Joana Vasconcelos, Paris, Sculpture, Versailles