L’Atelier des Lumiéres: Paris’s First Digital Art Museum

Thousands of images are set in motion, and the mesmerising digital displays are leaving visitors awestruck.

The French have given travellers yet another unique and thrilling reason to book a ticket to Paris with the city’s first digital museum of fine art. L’Atelier des Lumières, located in the buzzy and trendy 11th arrondissement, is a truly futuristic, immersive and vivid multi-sensory experience for anyone, from avid culture vultures to those who are just looking for an exciting new experience.  

With its 10-metre-high walls and huge 3,300 square metre surface area, the renovated 19th century Chemin-Vert foundry on 38-40 Rue Saint-Maur is the perfect site for large-scale, projection-based exhibits. Thanks to the state-of-the-art multimedia equipment, this is where artists’ works are turned into gigantic digitised images.

Visitors, who are able to get 360-degree views, feel the characters coming alive as artworks flash and colour explodes everywhere, from the cylindrical pillars and ceiling to the floor and walls. As well as the 140 laser video projectors, there’s an advanced “motion design” sound system with 50 speakers that plays the sounds of original musical scores to complement the 3D experience.

To celebrate the museum’s opening, the larger space in the “Workshop of Lights”, called La Halle, features a program dedicated to 19th-century Vienna Secession artists Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele, which takes visitors on a journey through one hundred years of Viennese painting.

To mark the hundredth anniversary of their deaths, works like “The Kiss” and “The Tree of Life” are harmonised by music from Wagner, Chopin, Beethoven and others. The exhibition, which goes on until 6 January, is realised by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto and Massimiliano Siccardi, with the musical collaboration of Luca Longobardi.

There is also a programme on Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who was inspired by the two Austrian mavericks. In a smaller room, Le Studio, there’s a display of contemporary art by experienced and emerging artists, and visitors have the opportunity to delve into AI and digital installations.

Operated by Culturespaces, a museum foundation that specialises in immersive art presentations, the digital museum gives art a whole new perspective. Visitors get to appreciate the complexity and opulence of the works thanks to the dimensions and scope of the exhibits. Plus, being the interactive, all-encompassing experience it is, the cool centre will most probably help get younger people more interested in art.

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