Today, regular expositions in museums do not attract many visitors, especially young ones. However, to parry this issue, Culturespaces (a French firm dedicated to the valorization of artworks and historical monuments), offers an alternative just in the center of Paris, in the 11th Arrondissement.
Indeed, at 38 rue Saint Maur, can be found the “Atelier des Lumières”. The building is an ancient foundry converted into the “first numerical museum” in the world. The original foundry was founded in 1835 by the Plichon brothers, Jacques François Alexandre and Hilaire Pierre to respond to the needs of the transport industry (railroads and ships). In 1935, the firm was dissolved and sold to the Martin family who use the grand hall to expose the tools and machines they produced. In 2000, the society moved out and the foundry was left unoccupied up until 2013 when the CEO of Culturespaces Bruno Monnier discovers it. He convinces the Martin’s to loan him the grand hall for his “numerical art center” project. After 5 years of renovation and reconstructions costing 9 million €, the “Atelier des Lumières” opens its doors on the 13th of April 2018. It currently offers three inauguration expositions: “Gustav Klimt”, “Hundertwasser” and “POETIC_AI”.
The expositions consist of more than 3000 images projected on the walls and the ground, put in motion by 140 laser projectors. During 35 minutes, you can walk freely amidst Gustav Klimt’s greatest masterpieces, such as The Kiss, surrounded by music from his time period coming from the greatest composers like Strauss, Chopin and Mahler. The Hundertwasser exposition lasts for about 10 minutes and follows the same principle as the Klimt one. Finally, the Turkish group Ouchhh is the creator of the POETIC_AI exposition. The shapes, movement and light are generated by an algorithm and give life to a truly unique experience, which lasts 17 minutes. The Klimt and Hundertwasser projections are shown up to the 11th of November, while POETIC_AI is only projected until the 31rst of August. While the “Atelier des Lumières” is not certain about the next artists they will expose, it is probable that Van Gogh or Chagall will see their paintings projected on the walls of the ancient foundry.
In conclusion, this is a truly unique and innovative experience that could very well change how you see and live art. However, for the most artistically cultured of you, this is not a museum. The aim is to attract a new type of spectator, mainly families with children, and to create emotions during the exposition. Therefore do not expect to learn about the artists, or the artwork, but be prepared to live an impressive and immersive experience, that will no doubt impress you.
-By Augustin N.