The Atelier des Lumieres did that for me. It was my favorite thing in Paris. I would go back if I could. (The Klimt closed in January but the current experience is VanGogh and I would go in a heartbeat. That runs till December.)
All but speechless.
This was the one event I wanted a ticket for. I had such high expectations and that's always a dangerous thing.
Fortunately, I was not disappointed. In fact, I was overwhelmed.
You enter what was once a former foundry, built in the 19th century. It is enormous, with tall walls, some in the middle of a room. I would say it completely dark in the room, and in a way it is. And in a big way, it's far from it. You find yourself surrounded by light and images, playing out on all surfaces, the walls, the floor, the faces of those in attendance. The exhibition is described as "Immersion of Art and Music," and it is a perfect description.
The three programs, which run back to back, include magnificent images from the artist Gustave Klimt, along with two others. The one I thought most fun featured the work of late artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
You watched magical looking cities appear before your very eyes with cars rolling through and rain falling. And yes, when the rain fell, the images on the floor were puddles!
I really loved the color and whimsy of this one and the sound track was delightful, too.
The other was titled AI. It was far more abstract.
But it was equally interesting, almost like watching a planetarium show.
And then came Klimt.
And it was magnificent. If I was impressed before, it paled by comparison.
These are video projections -- very good video projections -- accompanied by a musical soundtrack that is uplifting and inspiring.
What I found fascinating is that they were not synchronized. In other words, what might be on the wall straight ahead of you at any given time is not what might be on the wall adjacent or across the room.
The images morph into one another with beautiful dissolves, leaving you to feel you are in the midst of a storm or in a deep forest.
In some cases, they appear to be drawn as you watch, as with a magnificent tree or drawings of faces. Other images are the the famous paintings themselves -- or parts of them, mixed and added to with new elements revealed a bit at a time.
In other cases, vintage photographs are interspersed, setting the scene and period.
The experience included classical art and that taking you through Klimt's career.
I was surprised to see this -- I was familiar with his Woman in Gold and The Kiss, but not a more pastoral style.
People walked about, sat on the floor or steps or simply stood there.
The colors would wash over their faces and bodies, making them part of the art as well.
It was interactive without being active. You simply had to be, to look -- up, down, around, at the person next to you, at your own hands or clothing -- and you were part of the art.
I think we both wish we could go back and see it again and again and revel in the beautiful images and music.
Below are two videos. This one is shorter and features Hundertwasser's piece. (The rain falling at the end was my favorite part!)
The one below is about four minutes and from the Klimt presentation. Sometimes it goes to black for a few seconds and this is for two reasons -- in some cases, that was just what was on the walls in my view for a few minutes at a time and second, I didn't want to turn too rapidly with that nausea-producing swish-pan video! You'd think that working for a television station for 32 years would give me better video skills, but it's not my wheelhouse. Still, you will get an idea of how the displays morph into one another and can hear the dynamic the music that accompanies it.
Enjoy. (You'll find other videos on youtube if you search Atelier des Lumiere. The exhibit runs till January 6 if you're planning a trip to Paris SOON. But I'd attend anything there and will be eager to see what they bring in next.)
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