Friday, June 12, 2015

Anish Kapoor at Versailles

The new Anish Kapoor installations opened at Versailles on Tuesday. John and I skipped the opening and went the next day.
 Behind the Palace of Versailles Kapoor installed his mirrored sculpture, C-Curve, 2007. The concave side of the C-shaped piece reflects the rear of the Palace -- a witty echo of the famous Hall of Mirrors within.
Faithfully conforming to the laws of optics the convex side reflects the Palace grounds upside down.
Also reflected upside down are the visitors lined up to take their selfies. 
Further onto the Sun King's terrace, Kapoor's Sky Mirror, reflected the dazzling sun in a flawless blue sky. A witty reference to André Le Nôtre's canal in the distance -- also designed to reflect the sun.
 A few hours later the mirror was full of clouds.
 Sky Mirror looks like a piece of scientific equipment.
 The convex side gives an inclusive view of the gardens.
As we walked down the terraces of the formal gardens Kapoor's Dirty Corner came into view.
This piece has caused some controversy amongst critics and visitors because Kapoor is reported to have called it the "vagina of the queen coming into power".
 If so, I like to think of it as the feminine aspect of the garden grounds taking over from the political power of the palace beyond.
 I found the next installation, Descension, much more disturbing and compelling. You will find it just beyond the Apollo fountain.
The churning vortex of water is accompanied by a deep thrumming sound.
And the ground around it vibrates from the force of the powerful motors within.
 The last piece in the Versailles gardens, Sectional Body Preparing for Monadic Singularity, takes some finding.
It is set beyond a maze of hedges and fencing in a broad, circular, open space. I would like to visit this strange cube late at night under the Milky Way.
 As one approaches the piece it becomes clear that it is pierced by stretched synthetic fabric.
The sky is visible through oddly shaped openings. 
 On the far side is an entrance into the cube. It is pierced by deeply red internal structures.
It is like entering a body. It reminded us of the last piece Kapoor did in Paris, Leviathan. Kapoor continues to fascinate and disturb. Long may he create. 


  1. Kapoor is genius, I especially love those clouds reflected in the sky mirror.

  2. Agreed, Shelley. And I'm so glad the sky clouded over.

  3. Our mutual friend Brent Cehan introduced me to your blog. It sounds like we have a lot of tastes in common. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm glad to learn about this show. I'll definitely go to see it. Enjoy your stay. Paul Leonard

  4. Welcome to our blog site, Paul! The Kapoor installations are great and we actually only heard about them the weekend before we visited Versailles - indeed delayed our visit until they opened. Enjoy.