The newest member of the Auberge Resorts Collection, Domaine des Etangs, takes the notion of experiential travel to a transcendent level. A testament to history, art, and the unyielding relationship between humans and nature, the 13th-century chateau, surrounded by a vast expanse of 2,500 acres of untouched wilderness, has garnered international acclaim not only for its historical significance but also for housing a prominent art collection that graces its walls. Now, with immense delight, Domaine des Etangs announces the unveiling of its latest exhibition: Primordial Waters.

The brainchild of chateau owner, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Garance Primat, the Primordial Waters exhibition is a manifestation of her profound appreciation for art’s intersection with nature. The collection, comprising over 1,000 artworks primarily housed at Domaine des Etangs, boasts creations from visionary artists such as Olafur Eliasson, Yves Klein, and Sheila Hicks. This exhibition, a part of the Collection Garance Primat, reflects the curator’s dedication to celebrating the interplay of art and the environment.

domaine des étangs in France
Courtesy of Domaine des Etangs

On display now through March 2024, Primordial Waters is set to captivate the hearts and minds of all who step into its world. The exhibition’s focal point is its profound exploration of water as the very foundation of life on Earth. Curated by the talented Claudia Paetzold, the exhibition ingeniously delves into the element’s role in shaping human existence through an array of mediums including performance, sculpture, light, sound, and olfactory installations.

One of the exhibition’s highlights is the anticipated performance by musician and sound artist Tomoko Sauvage. The opening act will be amplified by hydrophones delicately positioned on the lakebed, enabling visitors to immerse themselves in an auditory journey that resonates with the water’s subtle melodies. This auditory experience extends seamlessly into Domaine des Etangs’ gallery, enveloping visitors in an ethereal soundscape that bridges the gap between fine art and the natural world.

a staircase of art at domaine des étangs, france
Photo courtesy of Domaine des Etangs

The profound artistic expression of Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, another featured artist, seamlessly blends the boundaries between nature and culture. His aluminum chain installations, carefully set against the breathtaking backdrop of Domaine’s natural landscape, create an arresting visual contrast. Through his work, the audience is invited to contemplate the intricate dance between human creations and the world from which they draw inspiration.

Nina Canell’s sculpture titled Days of Inertia is nothing short of mesmerizing. It tells the story of a meteor that struck Domaine des Etangs a staggering 260 million years ago, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape and shaping its destiny. Through her creation, Canell bridges the vast chasm of time, inviting visitors to witness the echoes of history reverberating through the ages.

A particularly unique addition to the Primordial Waters exhibition is the work of Sissel Tolaas, who undertakes an endeavor that is as fascinating as it is innovative. By meticulously collecting molecular data, she endeavors to recreate the distinct scent of water. This olfactory exploration invites visitors to engage with water in a manner that goes beyond sight and sound, stimulating the senses in ways that are both captivating and thought-provoking.

As one meanders through the exhibition, the threads of water’s influence on human life become ever more apparent. It becomes evident that water isn’t merely a life-giving resource — it’s an intricate tapestry woven into the very fabric of human existence. Primordial Waters delves into the philosophical realm, beckoning visitors to contemplate the essence of life itself and how this element has shaped and continues to shape the human narrative.

a beautiful sitting area at domaine des tangs
Photo courtesy of Domaine des Etangs

With the Primordial Waters exhibition, Domaine des Etangs, Auberge Resorts Collection, once again cements its status as a sanctuary where history, art, and nature converge. As visitors step into this immersive experience, they are transported not only through time and space, but into the essence of what it means to be human. Through the careful curation of Claudia Paetzold and the visionary artists who contribute their masterpieces, the exhibition promises to be an unparalleled journey of self-discovery and connection with the world around us.

Featured photo courtesy of Domaine des Etangs