Joana Vasconcelos, Contemporary Versailles


I do not come to this part of Chateau too often. The southern wing gutted out by Louis Philippe depresses me. Here painters like Delacroix were paid by square meter to paint as quickly as they could the bugle and drum history of France; but in these empty hallways I still hear the buzz of that beehive of apartments that for a hundred years was inhabited by hundreds of courtiers.

Today is different, Joana Vasconcelos cheers me up: suspended from the glass ceiling, her giant textile octopi splash their tentacles in my brain. Oh, how I float in the primordial ocean of deification. Euphoria! Yet what a failure. I suppose it comments well on the paradox of Versailles: already Saint-Simon saw some pettiness in the palatial glamour. Princes of blood had rooms just big enough to fit an army bed, for it mattered little where you slept — with the break of dawn, on stage! Scale and not the opulence made this place a legend: The park, the view of violence over nature that can only compare to the nature itself. So, lobsters in lace and black hearts made out of plastic forks, served as an entrée, did not wet my appetite.

Sour-faced I had shuffled through the male and the female part of the palace, and the eight foot high heels assembled out of pots and pans in the Crystal Gallery have failed to improve my disposition. They should have been replaced by the feathered lilicopter kept for the grand finale: the lilicopter is excellent, but too small to compete with the textile monsters. As for the bottle and the tea-pot in the park, their place is not in the South Parterre, but in a picnic area further out there, probably on a lawn.

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About versaillesgossip, before and after Francis Ponge

The author of the blogs Versailles Gossip and Before and After Francis Ponge, Vadim Bystritski lives and teaches in Brest France. The the three main themes of his literary endeavours are humor, the French Prose Poetry, the French XVII and XVIII Century Art and History. His writings and occasionally art has been published in a number of ezines (Eratio, Out of Nothing, Scars TV, etc). He also contributes to Pinterest where he comments on the artifiacts from the Louvre and other collections. Some of his shorter texts are in Spanish, Russian and French.
This entry was posted in Chateau Versailles, Murakami at Versailles, Saint-Simon, Versailles. Bookmark the permalink.

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