Parcours Muséologique Revisité.
Photography by Robert Polidori.
Steidl, 2008. 240 pp., 160 color illustrations., 13x13".
In Transitional States Robert Polidori delivers a sublime
photographic tract on architectural revisionism by
charting the decades-long conservation project at
Versailles. One of the world’s largest palaces, and a
symbol of absolute monarchy in France, Versailles is a
supremely apropos building through which to address
matters of revisionism, having been subjected to four
building campaigns (between 1664 and 1697) by Louis
XIV alone, and several modifications since.
So what does restoring a room really entail? Does
restoration intend the precise recreation of what once
was? And if so, how much “creativity” goes into determining
a room’s original condition? The curatorial decisions
steering this project inevitably betray political and
aesthetic affiliations that have morphed over the course
of the restoration, and Polidori has been in attendance
to record them. Photographed over a period of 25 years,
the ever-evolving phases of Versaille’s grandeur are here
laid bare for the reader to decode and admire.
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