Le Carrosse by Xavier Veilhan

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“Art is a tool for seeing that you have to look through to understand our past, our present, and our future.” Xavier Veilhan sad it himself: specially conceived to grace the East-West axis that runs along the Versailles domain, Le Carrosse greeted visitors upon their arrival in the palace’s Cour d’Honneur in 2009.

In its hue of purple, Le Carrosse plays with the eye with a combination of recognizable shapes and blurred lines, throwing a bit of perspective into the mix as well. “From afar, it’s perceived as a logotype. The closer you get, the more it breaks down, like flesh breaks down into cells underneath the skin,” says the artist. In fact, the game goes even further. The carriage is a means of transportation within a given space, but now it’s traveling throgh time as well. Presented with animals that are in mid-gallop, this sculpture represents an object from the 17th century created using techniques from the 20th.

It becomes even more apparent when you get closer. In front of the hodgepodge elements that compose this giant origami work whose meaning is easily lost, Le Carrosse reunites with the spirit of the Renaissance and imagines the breakdown of this carriage as a fleeing prey. Could it be that of Louis XVI? Perhaps. In any case, Xavier Veilhan saw the piece through from start to finish. Now his latest project Merzbau Musical, reminiscent of the Dadaist work of Kurt Schwitters, has been chosen to represent the French pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017.

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