Versailles’ Dirty Corner by Anish Kapoor

This summer The Gardens of the Versailles Palace presented 6 installations of Anish Kapoor. One of the works in this exhibit sadly was attacked not once, but twice by vandals. I visited the Gardens at the end of september and was deeply moved by those acts of intolerance. Now every piece was closely guarded. A few works were even surrounded by fences obstructing their interaction with the environment. But let’s talk about the works themselves!

After entering the gardens, the first work that I encountered (again) was C-Curve a cool mirror which twisted and turned Versailles upside down.

A bit further the Sky Mirror played with the clouds:

And then Dirty Corner came into view. It was a sad sight. After the second act of vandalism Kapoor wanted to keep the graffiti on public display to make it part of the work as revenge. The museum cloaked some parts, probably to avoid being sued.

The most depressing result of the vandalism was that Descension was now fenced and guarded. I could exclude the guard but unfortunately not the fence in my picture:Descension | Anish Kapoor @ Fountain of Apollo's Chariot Lawn Versailles

In one of the side gardens, the Star Grove, the Sectional Body preparing for Monadic Singularity blew me away with it’s blasting color.

The last artwork could be found outside the palace in the Royal Tennis Court. There deputies took an oath on June, 20th 1789 not to leave the room before a Constitution for France was adopted. Here Anish Kapoor showed Shooting into the Corner, but on a different display than before. The cannon wasn’t loaded on a regular daily basis but was silenced after it had been shot behind closed doors. Thus referring to the French revolution which started in this room and the violence that would erupt later on.

More pictures on Flickr.

The Universe of Panamarenko

Panamarenko is one of my heroes. He’s a true uomo universale: artist, inventor, engineer, visionary and dreamer. The Antwerp museum for contemporary art (M HKA) currently presents a “small” and comprehensive exhibition on his works. It covers his early years to his retirement now almost 10 years ago. Over the years, I have seen quite a few presentations of Panamarenko’s creations and he never ceases to touch my heart.

The most important thing for me is that once in a while there lies a kind of poetry in what I create.

Here’s my selection of some new and old gems. Enjoy!

The wonder of architecture

I discovered the work of Daniel Libeskind in Berlin this year while visiting the Jewish Museum.

What really struck me when I walked through his museum is that I “felt” the story that Libeskind was telling me through his building. And then I discovered his TED-talk.

He started his talk with these words and then everything around me just disappeared…

I’ll start with my favorite muse, Emily Dickinson, who said that wonder is not knowledge, neither is it ignorance. It’s something which is suspended between what we believe we can be, and a tradition we may have forgotten.

— Daniel Libeskind

The picture above was taken at the top of the staircase in the Jewish Museum. I deliberately didn’t re-size it – and I really hope your screen isn’t big enough so you have to scroll down – so you can get a glimpse of the feeling you get looking back and down after your visit.