Friday, September 10, 2010
Murakami at Versailles
Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s current exhibition has created uproar within the art community. His manga-style, contemporary work has been placed within the 17th century setting of the Palace of Versailles.
Many people feel that this strange juxtaposition is "degrading and disrespectful," and this controversy has sparked protests outside of the Palace gates. Murakami seems undeterred by the criticism. In fact, this response may be along the lines of what he had hoped. It is his wish that the exhibition "create in visitors a sort of shock, an aesthetic feeling," and that it is a "face-off between the baroque period and postwar Japan."
The palace director, Jean-Jacques Aillagon, said that it was his duty to allow Murakami access to the palace.
This exhibition highlights a tension between contemporary artistic expression and a respect for the past. Do directors of historic cultural sites have an obligation to the public to preserve the integrity and historical accuracy of the monuments, or do contemporary artists have a right to utilize these powerful icons as tools for commentary and creative expression?
Tell us what you think!
Check out the article and pictures of the exhibition in The Guardian, and for more information about the palace and the exhibition, visit the Chateau de Versailles site.