Nicolas Michelin – Magic Subversion (p. 2)
For an architect, this is quite obviously unsettling: a structure made from a pile of cheap materials,
of indefinite form and no specific function, stuck onto a noble facade. A sort of parasite
that has suddenly wrapped itself around the original architecture. Tadashi Kawamata's work
is both subtle and indecent; it subverts. The visitor is shown the insurrection of the precarious over
the immovable, or rather, of the suggested over the stated. He has a way of making art, building
on and with architecture, that is highly efficient. By braving established perspectives, it leaves no
room for nostalgia or history; it is invasive.
At the foot of the château of Versailles, Tadashi Kawamata led over a hundred students armed
with thousands of wooden fruit crates on a monumental architectural assault applying a unique
strategy. The resulting work has been incredibly stimulating. It revealed the doubts and potential
felt when faced with such grand architecture but more importantly, it opened up bold new creative
possibilities based on a notion of lightness.
At the Maréchalerie art centre, Tadashi Kawamata confronts the pseudo Mansart building, a
stable for sick horses housed in the small central pavilion set in the royal alinement. Its facades
and interiors are a sort of reconstruction, invention even, a combination of disparate pieces of the
original equestrian manege.
The artist takes the risk of presenting his work in such an unusual context, but with his
immense talent, he manages to bestow a new magic to the place.