Marguerite Humeau

Triumphal Arch Grove

RIDDLES (Spinx Otto Protecting from Humankind)

The journey begins in the Triumphal Arch Grove, where Marguerite Humeau’s installation depicts the legendary creature of the Sphinx. Hybrid creature, which is part protector, part predator, the Sphinx challenges humans to solve riddles and as such becomes the keeper of worlds of dreams that visitors are entering in.

Presentation of the artist’s work by the curator of the exhibition


RIDDLES (Spinx Otto Protecting from Humankind)

© EPV / Didier Saulnier

Triumphal Arch Grove

The Triumphal Arch Grove was installed by André Le Nôtre between 1677 and 1683. The fountain below representing the France Victorious is made of golden metal by the sculptors Antoine Coysevox, Jean-Baptiste Tuby and Jacques Prou.

How to get to the grove ?

About the work

The Triumphal Arch Grove is the first grove on “Voyage d’hiver”, opening with an installation by Marguerite Humeau: RIDDLES, Sphinx Otto Protecting Earth from Humankind. A sphinx was the first sculpture that Louis XIV erected in the gardens, as if to warn visitors of the omnipresent riddle of existence therein. A metaphor for contemporary security measures, the Sphinx Otto protects the planet from dangers and threats of which humans are the cause. The visitor walks through the labyrinth of vegetation, with its blood hues and poisoned flesh, confronted by a silent riddle: that of our humanity and its cycles, of the condition of our individual existence, and of the fragile equilibrium of our relationship to the world.

About the artist

Born in 1986 in Cholet, France, Marguerite Humeau lives and works in London, United Kingdom.

Marguerite Humeau’s work is structured around founding narratives such as those that evoke the origins of humankind, the appearance of language, the instant of falling in love, and the origins of war. Her works begin from a dialogue—with robotics engineers, palaeontologists, and biologists, amongst others—which Humeau then blends with science fiction stories. Each work features a central protagonist: a hybrid creature that is part chimera, part ghost, and part cyborg. Most recently, the artist has been working on the figure of the sphinx, the legendary creature that has coursed through symbolic history since the days of ancient Egypt and Greece. In classic mythology, this creature challenges humans to solve a riddle, killing anyone who could not furnish the answer.

The artist website

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