An early spring visit to the Chateau de Chamarande, just outside of Paris in the Essonne, reveals the curious hybridity of the place: it is a historical 17th century castle with gardens “à la française” and wild wetlands, as well as a center for contemporary art and culture, with installations in and around the chateau, both as shows and as augmentations to the landscape. Erwin Wurm’s “UFO” sculpture, pictured above, is a fine example. A puddle of a Porsche, it somehow fits into the surroundings like water (it is situated in the former moat), yet clearly stands out. Much like one of the dancers in residence, whom I found working out in the middle of the vegetable garden…

The 150-year old plane tree, below, is quite symbolic of the Chamarande experience. A hybrid between the Oriental and the Occidental Platanus, it is quite a phenomenon as it has spontaneously reproduced itself in a most unusual manner: the lower branches of the tree have taken root, producing new trees completely independant of the mother trunk. 

Now that’s evolution…




~ by lisacwhite on March 26, 2009.


  1. enjoyed your last entry especially ” puddle of a Porsche” phrase.

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