My Versailles Exhibition, Unveiled at Last

The art market is now being asked to develop new concepts for the next generation. It is my great hope that this show at Versailles will reflect these circumstances.
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As some of you may already know, on September 14, 2010, I will be granted the great honor of opening a solo exhibition at France's Palace of Versailles. May I say, first of all, that I am extremely pleased to follow in the footsteps of Jeff Koons, a man whom I hold in the highest respect.

Big events like these are composed of a myriad of different elements. One must take everything into consideration, from the smallest of administrative details to the finer politics of human relationships; budget management to party planning and disseminating information to the press; not to mention the overall entities that are in charge of it all.

The human resources necessary to break through this web have been provided to me entirely by my long time associates, Galerie Perrotin. On the basis of our more than fifteen-year friendship, Emmanuel Perrotin has given his heart and soul to the success of this exhibition.

What exactly did he do, you ask? First, you must understand that this project landed on my desk during the height of the recent financial crisis, a time when dark clouds were looming over any gallery's every day operations. At this difficult moment, Emmanuel took charge of everything, from funding new works to organizing events and parties, all with aplomb. And he did it all while still managing to make me, an unquestionably jittery person, feel comfortable and positive (though I must admit there was some bellyaching along the way).

Takashi Murakami

Now, after nearly two years, this terrifyingly nerve-wracking event has begun crawling its way forward. Exhibiting at a world heritage site, there are countless limitations on what can be done with installation. Working around these conditions has required the collective knowledge of several experts. Teams consisting of French, Japanese, and Americans, all of whom have different standards and methods, have held an endless number of meetings and discussions sorting out the various issues.

Then there are the parties, the organization of which has left me without a moment's rest for several days. Our opening party will be blessed with a concert produced by Emmanuel's friend, Pharrell Williams. This is in addition to a separate party hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

These past few years, the art industry has experienced a kind of big bang, much like the grunge scene of the early 90's. This means that the public now expects more from artists and the art scene.

These expectations have brought with them new challenges and artists must begin to incorporate all these elements into a singularly unique vision.

Over the past twenty years, the art scene in which we live has become one in which artists can no longer survive by thinking about the origin and creation of work alone. The economic circumstances around us, post financial crisis, have changed violently as well. After benefiting passively from the bubble years, the art market is now being asked to develop new concepts for the next generation. Slowly but surely, things are changing. It is my great hope that this show at Versailles will reflect these circumstances.

So without further ado, this exhibition, brought to you by the teamwork of an over 200-person production team, will open doors in just a few more days. If you are travelling in France, we hope you will stop by.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes on this space for further updates.

Takashi Murakami's Versailles Exhibition

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