Earlier this year the very first digital art centre in Paris was unveiled – l’Atelier des Lumières.
Set in a former foundry that dates back to 1835, the centre brings the paintings of renowned artists to life with an immersive sound and visual show.
Behind the centre is Culturespaces, a company that has also organised similar immersive exhibitions at Carrières de Lumières, in the southern French town of Les Baux-de- Provence since 2013. Both there and in Paris, Barco ensures that the artwork is projected to highlight the finest details.
When Bruno Monnier discovered an old foundry in the 11th arrondissement of Paris in 2014, he immediately knew he had found the perfect location for l’Atelier des Lumières. After three years of renovation, Culturespaces called on the technical expertise of integrator Cadmos to furnish the venue. Cadmos equipped the former foundry with Barco projectors to depict paintings of Gustav Klimt and others on an amazing 3,300sqm of projection space (walls, ceiling and floor).
“When we teamed up with Barco to equip the quarry in Provence, we agreed to work with them for the Paris venue as well,” said Bruno Monnier. “Fortunately, our experience in Les Baux-de- Provence was very positive. Barco proved to be a real expert and the team is motivated and always ready to help. Most importantly, the more than 100 laser projectors that they installed project razor-sharp images with high contrast, thus depicting the images in the most lifelike way possible.”
But replicating the Carrières in Paris would not be enough. Augustin de Cointet de Fillain, director of art and music immersive experience, explained: “The Paris audience is different. While in Provence, we mainly welcome tourists, many art lovers visit the Atelier. They are more critical and pay close attention to details. So we decided to add some extras to the location in Paris: we make images move here and there, play with mirrors, project on cylindrical surfaces and water, etc.” Top image quality was key, but not easy to achieve as it was complicated to project onto the 10m-high walls, and as the space is smaller, the audience is closer to the artwork and thus able to see more detail.
For the projections, 128 laser PGWU-62L projectors were used and Culturespaces added 16 F50 ‘panoramic’ WUXGA projectors with short-throw lenses. Together, the Barco stack presents the work of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Hundertwasser in breathtaking colours and detail. Monnier added: “Our mission is to make artwork accessible to as many people as possible and enable the art to bring people together. Our immersive concept really lets people experience art. As premier image quality is key to achieving that aim, we’ve found the best possible partner.”