Digital art is increasingly the rage, and immersive art exhibits - being the new flavour - are offering art enthusiasts a chance to step inside their favourite paintings. Though not a replacement for conventional visual artworks, these immersive exhibitions complement the original works merging art and digital technology. Through this, they not only amplify the overall sensorial experience but also reach much larger audiences than traditional museums and art galleries. Not only are they proving to be more successful in capturing the interest of those unacquainted with art and culture, but they allow enthusiasts to view art from new angles and perspectives.
An offering of such multi-sensory experiences was announced on April 13, 2018, by Bruno Monnier, the President of Culturespaces, a leading private operator in the management and promotion of monuments, museums, and art centres, to inaugurate the Atelier des Lumières, the first Digital Art Centre in Paris.
Housed in a former foundry with a 16,000 sqft exhibition hall, the ’studio of lights‘ used 140 video projectors and a spatialised sound system to cover a total surface area of 3,300 sqm. It projected over 3,000 moving images extending from the floors to the ceilings and over walls up to ten metres high.
The Atelier des Lumières includes two areas for visitors - La Halle and Le Studio. To mark the 100th anniversary of painter Gustav Klimt’s death, and that of Egon Schiele, La Halle was inaugurated with an immersive exhibition devoted to their works, which were brought to life to the sound of music at the venue. Visitors were immersed in the work of these artists, who were inseparable from the Vienna Secession of the 19th century. The smaller room, Le Studio, was given over to emerging artists towards exploring artificial intelligence and digital installations.
Created by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto, and Massimiliano Siccardi, with the musical collaboration of Luca Longobardi, this inaugural artistic programme offered visitors the opportunity to immerse themselves in the colourful and luminous works of Gustav Klimt, works by his contemporaries, and those whom he inspired. Taking visitors on a journey through 100 years of Viennese painting, the immersive exhibition took an original look at the works of Klimt and his successors through a presentation of the portraits, landscapes, nudes, colours, and gilding that revolutionised Viennese painting at the end of the 19th century and in the century that followed. A concurrent short programme focused on Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928–2000), the inheritor of the Secession and another artist who symbolised Viennese creativity.
In an explosion of colour across a panoramic setting, the Atelier des Lumières established a link between the various eras and provided a visual and musical journey through the creative works of the past and the present. The multi-sensory experience brought to life the works of these artists.
It is no surprise then, that since its opening, more than 6,50,000 visitors have experienced this total immersive experience. Yet, this is only the beginning. In February, the space hosted a new artistic multimedia project, only this time devoted to the great painter Marc Chagall.