Way back in the dead of winter, I wrote that Takashi Murakami had been picked to be the next contemporary artist to have his own show in the gilded halls of Versailles, following in the chrome puppy pawsteps of Jeff Koons‘s inaugural 2008 show there. Now, with the September 12 opening date fast approaching, a curator from another Parisian cultural institution, perhaps you’ve heard of it, the Louvre, is calling for the J-pop surrealist’s head. Specifically, Louvre contemporary art curator Marie-Laure Bernadac told The Art Newspaper‘s French sister publication: “Koons was a good choice, but I really don’t see what Versailles has in common with the figurative Japanese world of Murakami.”
Really? You don’t see what an absurdly ostentatious monument to a culture predicated on the suppression and exploitation of its people has in common with satirically violent pop-surrealist parodies of a culture predicated on sexual and political suppression and out-of-control consumerism? This is probably why you’re the contemporary art curator at a museum that shows virtually no contemporary art. In other news, Bernadac is organizing a new Nan Goldin exhibition at the Louvre, a compelling pick that seems very much in the same spirit as Versailles’ choice of Murakami.