CHAUMONT-SUR-LOIRE.- This year once again, the Domaine de Chaumont-sur Loire, the ﬁrst arts centre devoted to the relationship between artistic creation and nature, has an ambitious programme of contemporary art in store for visitors. Sarkis specially commissioned set of 72 stainedglass windows and Giuseppe Penones subtle installation are the highpoints of the itinerary, where plastic arts are on display alongside photography.
As part of the Centre Regions special three-yearly commissions, Sarkis has created a work of remarkable power. In 2012, 40 new stained-glass windows have been added to the ﬁrst series of 32 panes installed in the Château in 2011. Entitled Ailleurs, Ici, the ensemble makes up an imaginary museum in which the artist presents fundamental images of life and death, love and architecture, in a series of mental windows as fascinating as they are unexpected, playing with the memory of the place itself, the worlds memory, and the artists own memory. Exhibition on view until 31 December 2014, with a catalogue coming out in spring 2012.
Not far from the Château, in the Grounds, Giuseppe Penone leads us into a hidden copse in discovery of a work specially designed for the Domaine. Questioning the ties that bind humankind and nature so closely, the Italian artist, a leading light in the Arte Povera movement, has created an itinerary lined with a series of works. His installations interact with the vegetation, setting off processes where mineral and vegetable interweave, one enveloping the other, grappling with each other in a dialogue written over several years.
Nor are questions of process, of the mark left on nature by humankind and of memory absent from the works of four other plastic artists commissioned by the Domaine. Patrick Doughertys works of plant architecture, Michel Blazys foam ﬂowers and sorghum brooms, Shigeko Hirakawas Tree of Photosynthesis and Samuel Rousseaus eternal chestnut tree, LArbre et son Ombre (The Tree and its Shadow), are just a few of the poetic encounters featuring in this years programming.
Photography is also in the spotlight in the Domaines galleries, as the Château and the Farmyard are presenting Darren Almond, Alex MacLean, Eric Poitevin, Gilles Walusinski and Brigitte Olivier.
2012 is also the year in which the Domaine de Chaumont-sur-Loire is inaugurating new public areas. Besides the new rooms and 500 new square metres of exhibition galleries, the Domaine is also adding 10 hectares to its grounds, with their layout entrusted to the great landscape architect Louis Benech.