Art exhibition: a new ambitious show

Brand Content, User Experience

4 Nov, 2019

Increasingly spectacular, art exhibition as we knew it has mutated profoundly. It is digitalized, interactive, offers ever more immersion and takes the “visitor” on board towards a denser, stronger experience, disturbing the senses. Turn on your projector, we’re taking you to the museum!

Immersion may be trendy, but the idea is not new. As the director and RV specialist Pierre Friquet points out, the first immersive art experience dates back to the Paleolithic and cave paintings. The torches of our ancestors swept the walls and the painted animals seemed to come to life.

More than 30,000 years have passed and technological developments have taken us to another level. We no longer discover works with a torch but armed with a smartphone. And even though paintings continue to attract crowds, visitors became spectator-actors in the midst of floods of pixels and illuminations.

When augmented reality tells more about the works… or hacks them!

Museums understood early on that digital technology would enable them to enrich the traditional circuit from room to room and seized the opportunities offered by digital tools. 

Visitors’ assistance, tailor-made tours via dedicated apps, augmented reality… have become essential. The works become interactive and thanks to augmented reality, sometimes it is enough to point your phone at a painting or sculpture to learn more about its history or its underside. Picking up your smartphone and discovering the inside of a mummy enriches the visit of all audiences

The possibilities are endless, especially for those with a creative -or even dissident – soul. A collective created by eight artists has been using augmented reality since 2018 to superimpose its animated content on the works of art presented in the “Jackson Pollock” section at MoMA New York. This content is accessible via a mobile application called MoMAR. Their objective is to denounce the elitism of the galleries and give back an active role to the visitor. Virtual hacking, a space to conquer…

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Digital creation combined with technological developments makes it possible to offer ultra-immersive virtual experiences, starting with virtual reality.

For years, the VR Arles Festival, which takes place at the prestigious Rencontres photographiques, has invited visitors to immerse themselves in other worlds, virtual or not. Alongside short films anchored in our reality (reports or fictions), 100% digital creations are proposed. The essential RV helmet is sometimes accompanied by a connected vest that vibrates to the rhythm of creation, making the experience even stronger and more immersive. We know the power of these helmets, which literally deceive our brains and make us lose our bearings. 

The possibilities are obviously infinite, the powers of creation being also in the hands of coders, developers, engineers…

When pixels and programs replace paint

Beyond the individual experience offered by RV headphones, digital works are displayed in large format and attract a growing audience. The Immersive Art Festival, dedicated to immersive digital design and offered by the essential Culturespaces, gave the public a chance to immerse themselves in the works of 11 artists’ collectives. 

These creations of 4 minutes each, combining video, photo, motion design and sound spatialization, were tailor-made for the Atelier des Lumières. Broadcast thanks to 140 video projectors, 50 speakers, spread over 3,000 m2 of projected area, the 50-minute show is complete. Despite its price (26$), the festival largely found its audience who had the opportunity to vote for their favorite work.

image1 Art exhibition: a new ambitious show

These places of immersion in digital art are multiplying all over the world and the figures are dizzying. One of the latest born is in Tokyo. Launched in June 2018, the Mori Building Digital Art Museum is a 10,000m2 modern and interactive art gallery created by the teamLab collective. Composed of 40 artists with various profiles, engineers, designers, graphic designers, architects, or artists from the audiovisual world, teamLab has given birth to more than a hundred projects around the world since the year the collective was created. He performed in La Villette in 2018, bringing together 300,000 spectators.

France is not to be outdone since in April 2020, Les Bassins de Lumières will open a new venue in Bordeaux, managed by Culturespaces. Located in one of the five underwater bases of the Kriegsmarine on the Atlantic, this remnant of the Second World War will become the largest immersive art venue in the world with its 14,500m2 of projection area and 350,000 visitors expected. 

The visit is reinvited. Immersive creations are constantly in motion and interact with the gestures and movements of visitors, even integrating real-time contributions (drawings or other) made by the public. 

The spaces can be walked around standing upright… but the lying position is not so unusual to admire the projections. Visitors no longer hesitate to touch the walls since the works are elsewhere! The organizers even provide cushions, balls and sometimes…. climbing walls as in Tokyo at the Mori Building Digital Art Museum!  

All the traditional codes of the exhibition spaces are overturned and everyone is strongly encouraged to share their experience on Instagram.

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The master canvases in Waow effect version

This movement also affects the most emblematic artists

Van Gogh, Klimt, Klee, Picasso… Their works are now projected into immense spaces and there are few detractors to challenge the legitimacy of such a staging. Today, these works are broadcast in large format, animated with music for ever greater emotion, and take on a new dimension. 

We no longer extol the painter’s brushstroke, we no longer approach the canvas by scrutinizing the material. We can discuss zooms, animations that disturb the original work.

But the advantages of these exhibitions are numerous: after negotiations with the beneficiaries on cropping and other staging requests, there is no longer a need to be moving works worth several millions of euros around the world. These events can travel the world very easily and bring together a wide audience. 

Inaugurated eighteen months ago in eastern Paris, L’Atelier des lumières welcomed 2.2 million people with its Klimt and Van Gogh event.

It is now in La Sucrière, in Lyon, that the new exhibition “Imagine Picasso” offers, without any painting or drawing, 200 works by Picasso projected not only on the walls, but also on the floor and inclined walls, incorporating the codes of digital arts that play on architecture.

Welcoming instagrammers, a new type of visitors walking around with their smartphones and staging themselves in the middle of screenings.

Even the Louvre, with its mega exhibition on Leonardo da Vinci’s work, is offering to rediscover the Mona Lisa in virtual reality in a dedicated room at the end of the journey, while it remains quietly in the room assigned to it in the Louvre.

With these new digital narratives, art and entertainment are now one. The field of play is huge and brands should soon take over…

Culture Spaces
La Croix
France TV Info
Le Figaro


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