Ladies and gentlemen,Dear friends,You remember the beginning of 2001. The Space Odyssey by StanleyKUBRICK: a gigantic and mysterious stone makes a sudden appearance, causing the astonishment of the inhabitants, our ancestors – not the Gauls… but those of prehistoric times.

Well, all other things being equal, of course, the appearance, every year
for 14 years thanks to the association «Comité du Palais Royal», these sculptures and
facilities in the familiar space of the Royal Palace Garden causes some
something of this surprise among the walkers that we are. I judge from
my own amazement, when I saw the other day from the window of my office,
flags of pirates perched on top of the palisade, who could make me
believe, for a brief moment, in a rather unexpected power grab, a form
improbable and flibustière of “departmental waltz”…
Sprinkle these gardens with unusual objects like meteorites
to break the chains of habit and make us fresh
our view of the world around us and, in particular, of this magnificent
space. This garden is not “borrowed” in the sense that it would be stilted, especially
not, and he is all the less open to art and to the other, to wonder
of the new. And it is rather these gardens that borrow a little of the universe
artists who set up their neighbourhoods there for a season. These installations do not
are not, I assure you, purely alien! They know subtly
suggest a game of mirrors with the natural and architectural splendors of this place
mythical, and, more generally, with the world.
Mirror, because these works, due to five Chinese artists living and working at
Paris (or, for Chen ZHEN, disappeared in this city) reflect, by far and by
fragments, the World Exposition being held right now in Shanghai, and
I was able, alongside the President of the Republic, to admire the profusion
of inventiveness.
Mirror too, because these works play with representations of space.
They put in abyss the image of a real «extraordinary garden», as said
Charles TRENET. It is, you say, a “memorable garden” and all that
more, that it disappeared, that it disappeared, that it was abolished, just a century ago and
by the blindness of the Western powers, especially the
France, I say this with regret. I mean of course the Imperial Garden,
beautifully evoked by Chen ZHEN.
These specular works also reveal other rampages, other ravages,
ecological and human, caused by the disproportionate dam of the Three Gorges,
in «Stone Belly» by Shen YUAN, which reminds me of an original egg of
the creation.

At the turn of our walk, we also meet, like
scattered fragments, other strange, even incongruous reflections of our
world: I think of these giant newspapers of Wang DU, as seized on
in the movement of their creaking, and whose folds leave
glimpse mysterious and encrypted scriptures. I also think of this
Huang YONG PING’s amazing buffalo in a carriole
seems to come from the depths of the most remote ages and territories, but
whose title “Undocumented immigrants” refers to one of the
more difficult of our present…
These mirrors and reflections, they seem to incarnate in a utopia, realized
by the ephemeral magic of art, in this «Eurasia», by Yang
JIECHANG, a shared imaginary territory, at the crossroads of
two continents, floating in space and mysteriously dialogue,
with the flags of Yan Pei’s Pirates’ Flags
MING. An open-air utopia of which these gardens will know, during some
weeks, crystallize the dream.
All these works, passing through this garden, they are not content
to embellish our walk with some ornaments: they us
stop, they ask us about the future of our cultures in the
globalization, it sometimes confuses us, preventing us from thinking
and walk in a straight line. They have the power to
look at it here and elsewhere, to lead us, through these mirrors of signs, in
the odyssey of temporalities and spaces, according to a path that we must
to the two curators of the exhibition, Solange AUZIAS DE TURENNE
and Ami BARAK, whom I want to congratulate.
To each of the walkers, I wish to make my way
staff in this open book garden of wonders – or if you
prefer this «books of wonders» to open garden. I wish that their
routes are an essential outline of a «silk road»
which will also, without doubt, be a form of path towards oneself, so much
we have all become somewhat, at the beginning of the 21st century,
Wanderers looking for intersecting identities.
Thank you.