Sunday, 27 October 2013

Fit For A King

"Mummy, is that gold inside the tree?"
The little boy runs up to Spazio di Luce, an 8-metre horizontal scultpure by Giuseppe Penone standing just in front of the Chateau de Versailles.

French mother huffs. "Mais non. Think about it - they wouldn't do such a thing!" 

Well, they did. Except that the tree is not a tree, but a mould made from bronze, cut up and reassembled by Italian artist Giuseppe Penone

What interests me is when the work of man starts to become nature”, admits Penone in an interview.  The twelve installations on the grounds of the Chateau are in fact trompe-oeils that straddle the line between art and nature. But they are also subversively playful, almost supernatural. Stones resting on branches like cotton balls? A flying tree? 

I think that the tree is a perfect sculpture”, says the artist. 
In my mind - as night descends and the tourists leave - the ghost of Versailles walk the grounds and agree. 

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