© Daniel Buren / ADAGP, Paris
Work in situ for the group exhibition “Versailles Off” in the grounds of the Château de Versailles in October 2004.
This work was conceived from the spot from which Louis XIV liked to admire his gardens, in the axis common to the castle and the perspective in which, in a masterly trompe-l’œil created by Le Nôtre, the Latona Fountain seems to be the same size as the Neptune Fountain, the green square of the Tapis Vert looks quite small although in fact it is 350 metres long, and the Grand Canal seems to float above the other lawn. Buren laid a big green and white striped trapezoidal frame on the Tapis Vert. From this standpoint, it looked like a frame standing upright in front of the lawn; but if the spectator moved to the right or left, or walked closer, it returned to its real shape. This work unveiled Le Nôtre’s trompe-l’oeil by giving the fountains, lawns and artificial lakes their real proportions: “Effect/Counter Effect.”