Anamorphic Versailles


Walking around the Grand Canal, have you noticed how much wider it is at the western end? I would expect it to be the other way, that end being the farthest point in the landscape, if seen from the palace; but the baroque space is counter-intuitive: the Grand Canal is big and does not need to look bigger; this means we can play with the viewer’s mind, introduce a distortion, make the canal enter the landscape as a feature that defines more than just the scale; because the king himself seems quite obvious and very clearly defined, and by definition, as an institution of power, transparent; yet there is depth, irregularity, unexpected angles – a secret, a surprise, a discovery in everything he does. As for the view – ugly or beautiful, in the end it doesn’t matter: in the end we get tired of it.

Versailles, 2010-2 1921

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