10.24.08 6:44 PM ET
Photographs of Versailles by Robert Polidori.
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Architectural photographer Robert Polidori is a master at interpreting and representing unique interiors. He's turned his large format 8x10 camera on Chernobyl, Havana, and the wreckage left by Hurricane Katrina. His forthcoming Steidl monograph Transitional Spaces records two decades of recent revisionism at Versailles.
Versailles is a defining space of change and opulence; the palace has undergone countless transformations—four alone by Louis XIV in the second half of the seventeenth century. It has spent its recent history being renovated into a museum and tourist destination, after a sizable grant from John D. Rockefeller in 1924.
Polidori captures the inherent visual contradictions of such a project—a blue silk daybed is clothed in a thick protective plastic, the brilliant rococo hallway boasts a security camera, and visitors in red windbreakers dot the landscaped gardens (surely something Marie Antoinette never imagined).
Versailles will continue its metamorphoses, but these glittering images will remain still.
See more of Polidori's work at Edwynn Houk Gallery.