Detail of a photograph by Virginie Marielle, Installation view of Veilhan’s work at main courtyard of Versailles via Veilhan Versailles
Works by French artist Xavier Veilhan are currently being shown at the Chateau de Versailles, its gardens, and Royal and Main Courtyards. Veilhan, born in Lyon, lives and works in Paris. The artist covers a variety of mediums including sculpture, film, photography, painting and installation art. A 50 foot long coach and horses in purple, a color Veilhan sees as complex and ambiguous when at the backdrop of its perception is the idea of Monarchy and Royal power, is the first work encountered upon the nominal entrance to the exhibit. Also, among the works being shown is a statue of a girl, delicate and quiet in color as opposed to other works, it complements Versailles to a degree where it may be passed unnoticed by the visitor of the show. Also showing are sculptures and installations that tackle the worlds of photography and politics. A statue of Gagarin, first man to fly to space, titled “Le Gisant” is laid on the ground of the Royal Courtyard. The show runs through December 13, 2009.
Xavier Veilhan at Chateau de Versailles via Chateau Versailles
Veilhan at Versailles, Interview with Xavier Veilhan via Vernissage TV
More text and pictures after the jump…
Xavier Veilhan is showing site-specific works in spaces at Versailles that can be described as transitional: staircases inside the actual Chateau, and courtyards marking the inside and outside of a given territory. One of the installations By Xavier Veilhan could be easily categorized as land art, but suspended above the physicality of a landmark it turns yet again into an intermediate milieu. Thematically consistent with the ideas of change, mutability and constancy, the perceived shape of the work is metamorphosed as the perspective of the gaze is altered.
Xavier Veilhan’s “Le Gisant” exhibited in the Royal Courtyard of Chateau de Versailles via Capital
Louis XIV moved the home of Royal family from Louvre to the small village near Paris, hence turning it to the center of political power of France. 1789 French Revolution marked the demise of absolute monarchy, yet leaving Versailles to connote Ancien Régimes. Today, centuries after the collapse of the given political regime, Chateau de Versailles is not merely a site of the past; it oftentimes exhibits works of contemporary art; artists represented included Jeff Koons, and an upcoming exhibit will be of Takashi Murakami’s art. “Even this historic site was once contemporary” comments Xavier Veilhan.
Installation view of Xavier Veilhan’s work at Chateau de Versailles via Le Figaro