Joana Vasconcelos at Versailles

In 2012, Paris-born Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos (previously here) showed her work at the major annual contemporary art exhibition in the Palace of Versailles.

Pavillon de Thé and Pavillon de Vin - placed at the entrance of the Parterre du Midi, these wrought iron structures installed side by side.

"My work has developed around the idea that the world is an opera, and versailles embodies the operatic and aesthetic ideal that inspires me. The works that I propose exist for this place. I see them as linked to Versailles in a timeless way. When I stroll through the rooms of the palace and its gardens, I feel the energy of a setting that gravitates between reality and dreams, the everyday and magic, the festive and the tragic. I can still hear the echo of the footsteps of Marie-Antoinette, and the music and festive ambiance of the stately rooms. How would the life of Versailles look if this exuberant and grandiose universe was transferred to our period?"

Lilicoptère - a helicopter covered in gold leaf with thousands of swarovski crystals embedded on its exterior. The cockpit and blades are made of extravagant and colourful coat of ostrich feathers that have been dyed in hues of salmon, pink and orange.

"Interpreting the dense mythology of Versailles, transporting it into the contemporary world, and evoking the presence of the important female figures that have lived here, while drawing on my identity and my experience as a Portuguese woman born in France, will certainly be the most fascinating challenge of my career."

Mary Poppins - hanging above the Escalier Gabriel, is a tentacular body that is formed from handmade woollen knitting and crochet, industrial knitted fabric, fabrics, ornaments, polyester, steel cables.

Valquíria Enxoval (Valkyrie Trousseau) - hovering over the Grandiose Galerie des Batailles, is these forms that featuring colours, motifs and techniques that are typically found in the small Portuguese countryside village of Nisa, which is known for its rich history of arts and crafts.

Royal Valkyrie - handmade woollen crochet, industrial knitted fabric, fabrics, ornaments, polyester, steel cables

Golden Valkyrie - handmade woollen crochet, industrial knitted fabric, fabrics, ornaments, polyester, steel cables

Le Dauphin and La Dauphine - Two large ceramic lobsters are positioned to appear as if they are awaiting the monarchs’ arrival at the antechamber of the grand couvert, where the royal meal is to be served. Placed face to face, bedecked in delicate crochet laces, they longingly gaze at one another as if they were lovers.

Coração Independente Preto (Black Independent Heart) and Coração Independente Vermelho - these ‘red’ and ‘black independent heart’ are hung from the ceiling in the peace salon and in the war salon.

Blue Champagne - a monumental work comprising two vertical twin structures and incorporating thousands of champagne bottles lit from their interior, stands on either side of the rectangular water parterres that stretch in front of the palace’s terrace.

Check her website:

Source: designboom


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