Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos is the first woman to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles, stringing and planting her sewn sculptures about the olde swank place with pride. It doesn’t clash as deliciously as Takashi Murakami did in 2010, but the pieces, especially the hanging chandelier pieces, look great–fitting and jarring at the same time.
The work is made with azulejos tile, crochet, ostrich feathers, swarovski crystals, and various, various misc. It’s “Kitsch and without claiming Neo-Dadaism,” packed with cultural allusions. It’s opulent enough to fit into the Palace, but mad — a hybrid of sewn, welded, blobbing, bobbing parts, as if the furniture and its fancy upholstery and other heavy rich decorative props of the Palace rebelled and morphed together into these big silly monsters, roosting and waiting to grab and eat someone. Maybe.
Though the exhibit feels quite femme, Vasconcelos’ break-through piece Novia — a chandelier of 25,000 tampons — isn’t here. No need to beat them over the head with it, right?