Another resonant ‘act of naming’, Jacqueline Mesmaeker’s work produces an imbalance between the emptiness of the photographed landscape and the plethora of associations and acts of imagination triggered by the work’s title. Conceptually framed as the moment ‘before the construction’, the melancholic landscape brims with the metaphysics of inauguration, of the primordial gesture – the first thought before the first, the foundation of the foundation – that institutes a new reality, that replaces nothingness with form and meaning. The axes of the landscape indistinctly suggest the topography of the architectural complex, of the ‘actual’ Versailles, producing a chronological continuum between inauguration and oblivion, between the moment when Versailles does not yet exist and a déjà-vu that spontaneously brings it back to mind, that recuperates it from forgetting.
Jacqueline Mesmaeker, Versailles avant sa construction, 1980
Versailles version argentée, 2014
80,9 x 104 cm