The Experience of Immersive Art
Tickets are hot, and getting sold out as I write this, so get online and get them NOW…to the Atelier des Lumières where the Van Gogh, Starry Night exhibition is underway.
The first time I saw Culturespaces‘ digital exhibitions was at the Carrières des Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence — located in a limestone quarry known as “Les Grands Fonds” that closed production in 1935. Twenty-four years later, Jean Cocteau filmed “The Testament of Orpheus” in it which gave birth to another creative idea by Joseph Svoboda. A scenographer, he used the enormous white walls in the cavernous quarry space to form a backdrop for a sound and light show in 1977. Then, the first exhibition produced by Culturespaces in the space launched in 2012 with the show “Gauguin, Van Gogh: Painters in Colour.” The rest is history.
The Atelier des Lumières is a close runner up to the Carrières des Lumières, which has 7,000 square meters (75,350 square feet) of projection area and ceiling height of up to 18 meters (although I swear it feels higher than that!), compared to its Paris cousin with 30 percent of that — about 2,000 square meters (21,5 square feet). At Les Baux, about 100 projectors linked by fiber optics manage to cover every inch of visible surface accompanied by 12-channel surround sound. (See a video of the same exhibit in the quarry)
But, getting to Les Baux is a lot more trouble than sauntering over to the 11th arrondissement to see the same exhibition, and well worth the small hassle of getting your tickets in advance. The foundry on whose walls it is projected, dates back to 1835, when it supplied cast-iron parts to navy and railway companies during the Industrial Revolution. It closed in 1929 after facing competition from the manufacturing of plastics, but later the building was used to showcase tool manufacturing machines, until 2000 when that ceased to operate.
Thanks to Culturespaces, the foundry was discovered as a perfect spot to house their digital art shows. Its first exhibition opened in April of 2018 dedicated to Gustav Klimt and a century of Viennese painting. Now, one year later, we are immersed in the paintings of Vincent van Gogh, an artist of the last half of the 19th-century considered a genius who wasn’t recognized until long after his death. In addition, there are two other exhibitions: “Japon rêvé, Images du Monde Flottant (Dreamed Japan, Images of the Floating World) and “Verse” that rotate with the main event, Van Gogh.
Culturespaces isn’t stopping with Paris to present its digital art. Bordeaux’s famous Submarine Base is about to become a new center of their work. In the Spring of 2020, it’s set to open as the “Bassins de Lumières.” The Submarine Base is one of five bases built on the Atlantic Coast that housed submarine fleets during the Second World War. In partnership with the City of Bordeaux, the project will also offer the same high quality visual and sound experiences thanks to their AMIEX® technology (Art & Music Immersive Experience). Five times the size of the Atelier des Lumières and twice that of the Carrières de Lumières (four water basins 12 meters high, 100 meters long and 22 meters wide), the Bassins de Lumières will be one of the largest multimedia installations in the world! The custom-designed digital displays will marry the monumental architecture of the Submarine Base and will reflect images in the water of the four huge pools, adding a new dimension to the “immersive experience.”
What’s the experience of immersive art like? Like living inside a Van Gogh painting. If you love Van Gogh’s work (as much as I do), then you will almost feel as if you’re inside his head, or made of the paint he dripped from his brushes to the canvases. This is total eye candy with a Capital C. And you may not want to leave…just let your eyes wander around and take in the beautiful colors and images. Van Gogh will never be the same for you.
Walk around and enjoy all the views or find a good spot in the foundry to plop down and enjoy the show — the best seat in the house is facing the largest wall on the left as you enter. Spend an hour or two taking it in, then exit via the gift shop for the usual souvenirs and books you won’t want to pass up.
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(by Erica Simone)
P.S. Thanks to Donna Webster, of the website and blog, Vintage Chic Diva, for her recent interview of me in an effort “to help inspire women.” Donna wrote, “I believe that inspiring women is so important and the questions I designed for the interview are to show women from all walks of life and all ages, that no matter who we are, we all face fears and obstacles along the way and by allowing other women to read these interviews, I believe it will truly help inspire women everywhere.” She just finished adding my interview to her website. I was the first one of her series, but there will be more to come. To read it, visit: vintagechicdiva.com/pages/.