In keeping with tradition, every three years a new artist is invited to come and “inhabit” Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire. Following in the footsteps of Jannis Kounellis and Sarkis, for the 2014 commission funded by the Centre Region, it is the turn of the great Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco, who has felt inspired by the palimpsest of old tapestries gracing the walls of the apartments for Princess de Broglie’s guests.
Since these are “annual commissions” of the Domaine that make use of materials and ideas to do with nature (as they do every year), the artists invited to Chaumont- sur-Loire in 2014 are taking us on a ride through a fantasy world. The Brazilian sculptor Henrique Oliveira begins with his invention of a phenomenal half-animal, half-plant form, bursting forth from the loft of a barn like something straight out of our unconscious. British artist Chris Drury has then designed an immense and fascinating spiral of pine trunks for us in the Prés du Goualoup park, twenty metres in diameter, which seems to snatch up our gaze and imagination all for itself. Moving on to the Historical Park, for his part the Russian artist Nikolay Polissky has erected an astounding giant figure in the shade of a big cedar tree, formed from thousands of vine plants, while at the bottom of the Park French artist Vincent Barré has laid out powerful shapes hugging the landscape and sculpted a mystical crown of wood, bronze and wax under the Stables Canopy. We are also treated to Miguel Chevalier’s virtual magical gardens on display in the new galleries of the “Cour des jardiniers” (Gardeners’ Yard), alongside Ralph Samuel Grossmann’s “diffracted light”. Last but not least, admire the supernatural chalk cliffs that painter Stéphane Erouane Dumas is exhibiting on the walls of Le Fenil gallery.
The works that the photographers invited to Chaumont-sur-Loire are showcasing in the princely apartments of the Château have never been shown in France before. Whether we stand before the sacred woodland of Gyeon Gju by the great Korean artist Bae Bien-U, the phantasmagorical pinhole shots by German photographer Hanns Zischler or Jocelyne Alloucherie’s “night shadows-day shadows”, the view is one of quite extraordinary dream-like landscapes drawing us in each time.