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Technology opens up AZ Museum for the masses

Unable to show the full breadth of its huge collection of masterpieces in the limited space of its gallery in the capital, the AZ Museum (Museum of Anatoly Zverev) organised a series of temporary exhibitions in prime venues across the country and in Florence, Italy, to make these works available to the public.

The State Tretyakov Gallery invited the AZ Museum to create the concluding exhibition in the series, in its new 3,500m2 space called The West Wing, within The New Tretyakov gallery on Krymsky Val.

The team had just two months to organise this large-scale exhibition, called Free Flight, which would be one of the most significant art projects in Russia for 2019.

Exhibition author and curator, Polina Lobachevskaya, wanted to use the latest technologies and innovations to showcase the artworks which would include short films, photos of the artists at work, projection mapping onto 3D objects as well as digital projections of the masterpieces from the museum’s archives.

Having used Optoma projectors extensively, the AZ Museum opted for 20 projectors from the DuraCore laser series.

The team installed fourteen ZU510T WUXGA 5,500-lumen projectors. Designed for maintenance free, continuous operation, these projectors provide 30,000 hours laser light source lifetime in full brightness mode and can be installed in any orientation including vertically up, down and portrait without effecting performance. The ZU510T includes a fixed lens with horizontal and vertical lens shift, a unique 1.2-2.13:1 throw ratio and a zoom of 1.8x.

Where the projectors had to be installed close to the screens, the team chose six ZU500TST 5,000-lumen WUXGA laser projectors which have a throw ratio of 0.79:1.  These offer advanced installation options including lens shift and four corner correction, as well as 360° positioning in any direction. This allowed for easy placement of equipment to provide the large scale projection, which in places was five metres across. Their flexibility allowed the placement of several large screens within a limited space.

Both the ZU510T and ZU500TST have a compact, lightweight chassis with a colour option of either black or white.  The museum choose black to fit unobtrusively into the exhibition space.

A HDBaseT input is included in both models to simplify cabling requirements and reduce installation complexity and both have been independently certified with an IP5X dust resistance rating.

The exhibits were installed in innovative and engaging formats including projection onto the gallery ceiling to create an immersive experience, mapping onto 3D objects as well as the huge hanging imagery.

The exhibition space was filled with large-scale projections showcasing the works of artists of the Soviet Renaissance.

Ilya Gore, technical director of the AZ Museum, said: “The compact chassis and short throw optics allowed us to place projectors and screens in the hall so that they are not conspicuous, and at the same time provided us with the necessary flexibility to gain maximum exposure in the space. Thanks to the brightness of 5000 lumens, we managed to achieve the large projection size needed to optimally demonstrate the work of artists.”

Photography © AZ Museum Press Service