This year contemporary art is represented at Versailles by Joana Vasconcelos. After the American Jeff Koons, the Japanese Takashi Murakami, and the Frenchmen Xavier Veilhan and Bernar Venet, she is the first woman, as well as the youngest artist, to tackle the unsurpassed historical benchmark that is the Château of Versailles.
“The approach of the Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos, born in Paris in 1971, consists of the reappropriation of everyday objects which she transforms using inventive and unexpected techniques. These displacements produce hybrid objects made with azulejos(glazed ceramic tiles) and crochet work (a French word appropriated and amplified by the work of Portuguese women): they are stitched together, welded, gilded, etc. In a word, they undergo a metamorphosis.(…)
(…)Joana Vasconcelos uses the traditional clichés of her country which she re-works with this humour and also with an underlying amused approach that is sometimes also a little sad, or disturbing, or disillusioned, and very modern. Profoundly anchored in Portuguese culture, she proposes a visual language perceptible by all. One would be obviously tempted to add another Portuguese cliché, often mentioned but never properly understood: saudade. Many of her works are imbued with warm feminine sensuality. They convey a feminine protest, without dogmatism, which is treated in a manner that is more ironical than militant.(…)
Jean-François Chougnet Exhibition Curator
Château of Versailles
19.06.2012 – 30.09.2012