Klimt lights up La Fabrique des Lumières, Amsterdam’s new digital art center

The Westergasfabriek, a former gas factory and a jewel of Dutch Neo-Renaissance architecture, begins its exhibition program with “Gustav Klimt, gold and colors”. Overwhelming.

Lovers of Amsterdam, rejoice: the multi-museum city of culture, Dutch Venice, has one more: the Fabrique des Lumières, a brand-new creation of Culturespaces. With its 1,350 m2 of exhibition space, this former gasworks located on the last line of the Amsterdam canals, the Westergasfabriek, a jewel of the Dutch Neo-Renaissance style once dedicated to lighting the streets of Amsterdam, illuminates the city of Rembrandt in a completely different fuel: art.

In addition to the temporary exhibitions that have been organized there since 2003, from Friday, April 22, 2022, there is a visual and musical art in which the public is invited to immerse themselves and live an experience”immersive“. This revolutionary technique, which through video, images and music invites the viewer to literally enter the work of a painter and discover it in a completely different way, offers an unprecedented journey. “Digital makes it possible to bring together works that the public will never see all together and give them a particular resonance with music. », explains Bruno Monnier, founder and president of Culturespaces. “We are not an alternative to the museum, we are complementary“.

Some are alarmed that this augmented reality 2.0 could outshine the museum, the traditional version, but statistics show that a first visit to the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, the Carrières des Lumières des Baux de Provence, the Bassins des Lumières in Bordeaux , the three immersive art centers managed by Culturespaces, brought a significant number of visitors to the museum, a place hitherto unknown to this public, of which these digital works gave them a foretaste. “The true democratization of culture is the digital that allows it today», concludes Bruno Monnier.

At the Fabrique des Lumières, the public will discover the exhibition Klimt, a new version. As soon as you enter the great hall of the old factory, whose cisterns are still there, you are captivated by the magic of the lines that are drawn on the walls, the rotating chandeliers, the black and white archives of this purpose. -of the Vienna of the century, of the color that appears and invades the space, of the opening music of Tannhauser of Wagner, which advances with measure, swells, expands, lets emotion arise, at the same time that the painted forms round out, flourish, burst into a tremulous symphony. The white facade decorated with red flowers and garlands of plants from the majolikahaus by Otto Wagner transports you to that artistic revolution that was the Secession, a reaction to the impasse of the neo-Renaissance, neoclassical, neo-Gothic that Vienna had until then adorned to the point of indigestion.

Nuda Veritas » proclaims the Secession, exchanging the dripping pastels of architecture and sculpture for clear, refined and flowing lines inspired by Egypt, Byzantium or Samarkand. Here we are immersed in Klimt’s sets, those geometric and golden forms, that new aesthetic that is both rich and sober, that spring nature that we contemplate on a Gustav Mahler lied. “I know what I want the audience to feelsmiles Gianfranco Iannuzzi, artistic director, alchemist of this magic in which he immerses visitors.

Some are motionless, others are seated, contemplative, those who walk enrich this total spectacle with their shadows, projected on the walls by one of the hundred or so projectors. After two more trips to Vienna since the launch of the exhibition at Les Baux de Provence, the artistic director of these digital art centers has reworked the exhibition, led by Ana Debenedetti, the new head of exhibitions at Culturespaces, to whom we owe the beautiful exhibition from Botticelli to Jacquemart André. Some chapters have been changed, the stage has been enriched with an additional ten minutes of projection. Klimt’s sublimated women are succeeded by the tortured faces of Egon Schiele, and these lovers who we know if they embrace or devour each other.

After the Klimt exhibition, the public is immersed in the brief and very dreamlike exhibition on Hundertwasser, in the traces of the Secession, and in that strange underwater world of Friedensreich Hundertwasser, where chimerical cities sprout like mushrooms, where color falls in large drops to draw a strange and childish world. In the fall of 2022, visitors to the Fabrique des Lumières will discover a special exhibition by photographer Jimmy Nelson on the traditions of the Netherlands, its traditional costumes, its festivals, with a complete work on this particular Northern Lights.

After Amsterdam, Seoul and New York will see the opening, on May 27 and September 8, 2022, of theater of lights Y Hall of Lights. The objective of Culturespaces is the creation, in the next three years, of an immersive art center in the main cities of Europe. Starting with Dortmund, Hamburg and Brussels. With an investment of ten to twelve million per project. And a name that will always include, whatever the country, the “lights», in French, a sign of that French touch appreciated abroad, of which Culturespaces has become one of the jewels.

Light Factory, Pazzanistraat 37, 1014 DB Amsterdam. www.factory-lights.com

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