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.

We. Love. LEGO. Architecture.

LEGO Architecture | Big Ben

Since a few months, my nephew and I discovered LEGO architecture. To be honest, I discovered it years ago, but now my nephew is old enough to build the LEGO landmarks together (how’s that for an excuse?). And there’s no holding me back now. But back to LEGO: we love it! We started with an Eiffel Tower, then we moved on to Fallingwater and this weekend we tackled Big Ben.

When making our buildings, my nephew and I have the following deal: he is the master builder and I deliver the stones. An arrangement that works fine by me 🙂 The box always includes a little book where you can find some background information on the building at hand. Always nice to know some background information on what you’re building. Although I must admit that we usually start building immediately and then afterwards read more about the little gem that is standing before us.

EiffelTower

These are our little works of art:

I’m definitely not the only LEGO architecture lover, I found lot’s of Youtubes on these small landmarks. A lovely one on Fallingwater:

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.
(Panamarenko)

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

The invisible church

I must confess, I’m not a religious person. I visit churches not to pray, but to marvel at their architecture. “Reading Between the lines”, the beautiful see-through church in the hills of Borgloon struck me with its almost spiritual flair.
The experience starts at the bottom of the hill where this sign gives you a glimpse of what to expect…

Between the Lines | Borgloon

After a short walk along a sandy trail, you first only see some trees. The sandy path turns into a path covered with grass and  then you see the church between the trees:
Between the Lines | Borgloon

I’m a big fan of dramatic entrances and this one hits the jackpot! After recovering from the first impression and a small walk you find yourself in front of a true inspirational building.

I’m of course not the first and only one to discover this “little” work of art. When I was there for let’s say little less than an hour, people were coming and going all the time, enjoying the view. Some were pretending to be a real priest and started giving each other blessings inside the church. Funny and I never experienced this in a real church 😉

What about the facts? The church is part of Pit, an “art in open space” project by Z33. It is designed by Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, two young architects/artists from Leuven and was built in 2011.

The work is titled Reading between the Lines. The lines are essential, suggesting its true form, but never without loosing sight of the surroundings. The basic dimensions are 90% air and 10% steel:

Reading Between the Lines | Borgloon

And those lines make it worth the Archdaily price for Building of the year 2012 (category religious architecture).

100 steel plates were used to reach up to 10 meters high (the tower is 5 meters high). The church is raised on a fundament of armed concrete and is inspired by the Church of John The Baptist in Kuttekoven, which is not so far away from Reading Between the Lines:

Church Saint John The Baptist | Kuttekoven

When you enter the church, it feels like the construction is very solid. Especially looking up into the tower, you get this view (notice the way the light enters through the windows):

Reading Between the Lines | Borgloon

The windows in the church are created by cutting out parts in the vertical layers:

Reading Between the Lines | Borgloon

And to make the work of art complete: if you look at Reading Between the Lines from the right angle, you can see the tower of the Church of Borgloon through the church:

Kerk_Borgloon

And what makes it such a great work? For me the fact that the structure almost isn’t there and can’t be ignored at the same time. It is one of those pieces of art that has found the perfect spot to be displayed. It almost “forces” visitors to sit down for a minute and experience the building, the meadows, the live stock that grazes in the nearby fields and most of all the peace and quiet you can find there.

Since it’s a work of art and part of a temporary project, it was originally designed only for a few years, but luckily there are plans to preserve the site. I hope  we can continue to read between the lines for a long time to come!

More information

Location
50°47’39.25″N – 5°21’6.87″E