Hicham Berrada

Grove of the Domes

Matrice minérale

Equilibre saturé

In the Grove of the Domes, Hicham Berrada stages two works inspired by scientific observation protocols. Through natural phenomena and chemical reactions, the artist evokes the cosmos and the underwater world, reminding visitors that everything is in a constant state of evolution.

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


Matrice minérale


Grove of the Domes

Conceived by Le Nôtre in 1675, the grove of the Domes is composed of a hexagonal pool at the center of which stands a fountain made of a white marble bowl propped up by four dolphins. The niches in the bower’s trellis are decorated with eight statues illustrating marine and solar themes.

How to get to the grove ?

About the work

For the Grove of the Domes, Hicham Berrada has staged two chemical reactions. On one side, seven columns topped by a gilded roof are reminiscent of the architecture of the former “domes” of the pavilions Mansart designed for this grove. The columns enclose artificial bronze concretions, enshrouded in mist rising from the degradation of the metal caused by electrical current. As the visitor looks on, the bronze, habitually associated with memory and permanence, is subjected to an accelerated process of aging which gives it a snowy aspect. On the other side, a lone column contains salt sculptures that will gradually dissolve over the course of the exhibition until the water completely saturates them. The events underway in these columns form landscapes in transition, evoking the cosmos and the underwater world, reminding us that everything in this world is in a constant state of evolution.

About the artist

Born in 1986 in Casablanca, Morocco, Hicham Berrada lives and works in Paris, France.

Hicham Berrada composes his installations like living paintings. Berrada sparks chemical reactions in his works to render nature’s subtle, sometimes microscopic, metamorphoses perceivable. “In art, we do nothing more than rearrange that which already exists,” he says. In his cleverly orchestrated rearrangements, a space as enclosed as an aquarium becomes a fascinating territory freed of all notions of scale. Inspired by scientific observation protocols that he transposes outside of their habitual use in laboratories, the artist invites viewers to gaze in wonder at the hypnotic, almost psychedelic, character of natural phenomena.

The artist website

Come and wander around the groves of Versailles


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