Anish Kapoor unveils a vagina at versailles

It’s a french horn.. it’s a whale.. it’s Marie Antoinette’s vagina? British-Indian contemporary artist Anish Kapoor is currently exhibiting his sculptures at the Château de Versailles in France. We love Sir Anish, but the world is currently freaking out about the not-so-PG13 royal garden decor.

Home of the monarchy of the Ancien Régime, an iconic rep of Baroque architecture, and of course more recently the flamboyantly fab Kimye wedding- the Royal Château is an emblem of French history. Kapoor’s unveiled works are a political take on power at Versailles, represented through six sculptures installed throughout the gardens, the Royal Tennis Court and for the first time, the Jeu de Paume room.

He tells the Guardian, “My idea was to upset the balance and invite chaos in … while preserving the integrity of this historic place –- that was the principal difficulty.”

Some of the works include a whirlpool of black water and a canvas of cannon-shot red wax, but recent controversy has mounted over the suggestive 60 meter steel tube that faces the palace. He’s calling it “Dirty Corner”, but it’s essentially the vagina of the last queen of France, the OG Marie Antoinette.

The peculiar metal sculpture is funnel-like, with a deep black hole installed in the center of the garden. Tourists and critics alike are calling it “gross” and “dirty”, but there’s no such thing as bad press, and the exhibition will undoubtedly still attract visitors.

Was it his true intention to capture the female form? The artist reminds us of his subjectivity when he told the BBC his “work has multiple interpretive possibilities.” Call it what you will, vagina or not, the reaction seems to be what you get when you mess with that much history.

The showing will run from June to October, follow the exhibition here

Photos by Jean-Christophe Marmara

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