Demeure du Chaos – Rolf’s take

18 November 2010

I feel compelled to add something about the Abode of Chaos.  I had a somewhat different experience from Birgit, but then, admittedly, it was me who chose the destination after I had read a little bit about it.  The site is a 17th century manor which the owner acquired over 10 years ago and turned into a work of art, with the help of many other artists and his own hands.  Yes, it does create a stark contrast in this ancient and pretty village, which history has turned into a town for rich commuters.  Superficially, the work is just an anti-bourgeois protest — but look beyond the surface and it becomes a feast for the senses.  Not just once, but several times while I walked around in it I’ve had a kind of jolt, a raw experience, a rare insight into someone else’s mind, a ‘wow’ mixed with a ‘why?’, followed by a ‘f… yeah’.  Someone reached deep inside themselves and poured what they found into an artful expression.  There is pain, there is anguish, there is disgust, and for once, they are all acknowledged — there is no escape, no coverup, no dulling the senses with sweet wine or amusements.  Could I create art like that?  Never, but I’d give my right arm for that kind of talent.  This sort of experience is what occasionally draws me to Banksy, Shepard Fairey, the documenta, and every modern art museum I’ve ever visited (too few, I must add, unfortunately).

For those of you who appreciate Paul Merton, here’s a video (11 minutes) giving his take on the AoC.  Like Birgit, he’s a bit square about it, but the video has some factual bits that are worth knowing.

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