John Giorno

Apollo’s Baths Grove

We gave a party for the Gods and the Gods all came

Let it come Let it go

The Apollo’s Baths Grove is a romantic place in the gardens of Versailles. This winter, John Giorno engraves short powerful pieces of poems on rocks, as if those poems were spread by fate.

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


We gave a party for the Gods and the Gods all came

© EPV / Thomas Garnier

Apollo’s Baths Grove

The current Apollo’s Baths Grove was installed during the reign of Louis XVI in the new English-style garden taste, after a project by the painter Hubert Robert. Located in the center of the grove and facing west, an artificial and mysterious grotto opens on a mountainside planted with fir trees.

How to get to the grove ?

About the work

With his visual poetry, his philosophy based on Tibetan Buddhism (and sustained by pop culture), and his life celebrating sensual freedom, there was little chance that John Giorno could resist the grace of the young god Apollo, left to the diligent hands of the daughters of Thetis. Here, his poems are carved in stone and seem to belong to the grove designed by Hubert Robert. A few words speaking of sovereign freedom, words so clear and yet sufficiently polysemous in nature, they allow our imaginations to soar. Is Apollo returning from his race with “horses panting from having run so far”? How should visitors interpret these engraved words; words that have been stolen, as is clearly the case of the typical New York or Pop font in which they are written? The beholder may decide how they allow Apollo’s repose to inspire their thoughts.

About the artist

Born in 1936 in New York, John Giorno lives and works in New York, United States of America.

An iconic character from Andy Warhol films, John Giorno draws inspiration from the free appropriation of Pop Art images and uses sound capture of vernacular language from commercials, television, newspapers, and the street. In the tradition of the Beat Generation, Giorno renews the “found poetry” genre and strives to make poetry accessible to all. In the early the 1960s, he designed poems like viruses to be transmitted to the greatest number of individuals possible. Thus, the artist created Dial-A-Poem (1968), a hotline that allowed callers to listen to poetry, works of sound, songs, and political speeches. Regardless of whether the poems are recorded on a disk, painted on canvas, recited on stage, or fragmented on the pages of a book, Giorno considers them as images that can be reproduced infinitely by technology.

The artist website

Come and wander around the groves of Versailles


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