ATELIER DES LUMIÈRES – THE NEW DIGITAL ART CENTRE IN PARIS
An exciting new venue for the arts opened in Paris in mid April 2018. Located in the former Plichon cast-iron foundry built in 1835, it has over 3,000 sq. metres of surface area and walls up to 10 metres high. It took two years to prepare the building for its new life as the city’s most innovative space for presenting art, using all the techniques of the digital revolution.
Until now, there was nothing like this type of art space in Paris. Located in the 11th arrondissement, the addition of the Atelier des Lumières is a perfect fit into this vibrant neighbourhood that already had many cultural venues such as theatres, concert halls, galleries and more.
The organisation behind the Atelier is Culturespaces, who have been presenting monumental immersive exhibitions since 2012 at another of their venues, the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de-Provence, which has attracted over 2.7 million visitors over 5 years.
The inclusion of the word “lumières” (light) in the name of the Atelier and that of the Carrières, reflects the whole essence that these projects represent, to create an intense, immersive experience for the visitor, both through images and with music.
On our visit, the audience was across all age groups and profiles, ranging from those who probably regularly attend art galleries and are already familiar with the artist’s works, people who perhaps would never go to a traditional art museum, through to very small children, who were entranced with wonder.
But whatever the visitors’ individual experience with art galleries might have been, everyone was equally awe-struck and spell-bound by the whole presentation.
We could only be impressed by the tremendous effect the production appeared to have on children. What a fantastic way to be introduced to pictorial art in an innovative, exploratory and way, without the usual intimidating strictures on quiet, respectful, passive behaviour appropriate to traditional art museums—no “look, but don’t touch” here!
With a digital approach, Culturespaces has avoided the problem of curating exhibitions that involve major historical artworks that are often too fragile to be moved. The idea of “immersive” art is to step outside the traditional, physical presence of a work into an entirely new form of presentation of artistic masterpieces, through the use of digital tools.
The digitised images projected onto huge surfaces are not static, but move, surround and cover every surface, (including the audience), which at the same time is reinforced by a brilliant musical score. The Klimt images were synched with music ranging from Wagner, Beethoven, Puccini to Philip Glass.
This exhibition covers 100 years of paintings, through the luminous, vivid works of Gustav Klimt and his contemporaries such as Egon Schiele and other Art Nouveau artists at the time of the establishment of the Viennese Secession movement, whose motto was “To every age its art. To every art its freedom”. More than 200 works by Klimt and Schiele, and over 100 photographs and graphic elements were used during the 30 minute programme.
For a totally new, utterly contemporary exploration and experience of art, don’t miss this extraordinary alliance of great art with the latest in digital technology–a new type of artistic creation for the 21st century.