Following on from an initial commission awarded to Jannis Kounellis in 2008, it is now the turn of Sarkis to offer the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire
some exceptional work, with financing from the Centre Region. This will happen in two stages: 40 panes of stained glass designed and installed in 2011 and 32 in 2012. So, 72 creative works in all that light up and transform some of the Châteaus apartments, which have been long abandoned, but which are to be specially opened up to visitors. On view from April 8 through November 3, 2011.
Just like an imaginative museum of the artist, these panes of stained-glass reveal fundamental images of life and death, love and architecture, mental windows which are both fascinating and unusual, playing with the memory of the place itself, the worlds memory and the artists own memory. A wide variety of scenes are represented, such as a cherry tree in blossom in a Japanese garden, an abandoned palace beside a lake in Ahmedabad (India), a sunset at Nordland (Norway), a white Carrara marble mountainside (Italy), the face of an Indian dancing girl in the rain, the resurrection of a person from the dead, the emotion and light of an Armenian religious ceremony
These sublime or tragic images are on exhibition for three years, until 31 December 2014.
The Grounds of the Domaine are also hosting another commission awarded to Tadashi Kawamata. His project is based around a walkway suspended above the landscape and the river, enchanted huts amongst the foliage and unusual pathways on huge sheets of decking fl oating between the century-old trees.
As for the Dutch artist Herman de Vries, he has chosen the Stables Riding Ring as a setting to roll out a scented carpet of real lavender.
Close by, under the Stables Canopy, Dominique Bailly gives a nod to the architecture of the place itself with 5 orange-coloured spheres made of redwood, cedar and oak which mirror the colours of the bricks around them. She also invites visitors to explore the far reaches of the Grounds with an installation of woven branches near to the Water Tower.
Finally, Gerda Steiner and Jörg Lenzlinger, a Swiss artistic couple who are very aware of the issues of ecology and biodiversity, invent an ever-changing, surrealist soup in the Dining Room of the Princesse de Broglie, who was the last owner of the Château between 1875 and 1938. It is made up of coloured urea crystals and gradually fl ows out over the edges of the bowls, invading the whole table!
Alongside these installations, four major contemporary photographers are exhibiting their worlds, both natural and phantasmagoric:
- Gilbert Fastenaekens from Belgium, with the quasi-mystical Noces [Nuptials] amidst fascinating winter undergrowth,
- Helene Schmitz from Sweden, with huge and mysterious abandoned butterfl y houses, - Manfred Menz from Germany, with his Invisible project, strange photomontages of landscapes emptied of their architecture,
- Shin Ichi Kubota from Japan, with sublime cloud landscapes.