Culture / Art Republik

Olafur Eliasson Reveals Versailles Waterfall

The artist finally completes his special project for the Palace of Versailles

Jun 08, 2016 | By Staff Writer

The artist/architect Olafur Eliasson’s project to build a massive waterfall within the Palace of Versailles has finally borne fruit. The project was influenced by original plans for an enormous fountain drawn up by Louis XIV’s architect but never realized. Now if all this piques your interest and you’re wondering exactly how high the waterfall is – good luck in finding out, because Eliasson’s not telling. The only comment he made to reporters on Monday was that “The height is perfect”.

Still, it is quite an impressive achievement because of how the Versailles waterfall (as fountain is being called) is structured – as a latticework tower hidden behind the flow of water gushing at the top so that the water seems almost like it’s appearing in midair. Eliasson’s reason for refusing to reveal the height was because he wanted “to leave it to the public to make up their minds how high is high” and “to resist the idea that we have always to quantify the unquantifiable”. Beyond that, Eliasson also created a few other installations aimed at eschewing visual perception while drawing attention at the same time, strewn all about the garden.

One of these other installations is the “Fog Assembly” which forms as an ‘enchanted misty ring’ in one of the groves where visitors are encouraged to “lose themselves”. Another is a work created in the Colonnade Grove at Versailles from dust left behind by a melting Greenland glacier. He used the glacier in an installation he made for the COP21 climate change conference in Paris late last year.

Eliasson’s installations will be on show until October 30.

This story was written in-house, based on an AFP report and an image from the AFP. 

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