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If you’re seeking a new artistic thrill for your next Paris visit, then Design Limited Edition blog got good news: L’Atelier des Lumières, a new digital museum breaking ground in Paris’s buzzy 11th arrondissement, promises to be the coolest new destination this side of the Right Bank when it opens in the next 18 months. The perfect fine art museum for technology lovers.
Financed in part by the Foundation Culturespaces, L’Atelier des Lumières will inhabit the renovated remains of a 19th-century foundry on the Rue Saint-Maur, whose gritty, concrete-and-steel industrial bones—26-foot-high walls and over 21,000 square feet of open floor space—provide an ideal canvas for the museum’s large-scale, projection-based exhibits.
Using a state-of-the-art projection system, paintings, collages, and mosaics by the likes of Klimt, Bosch, Breugel, and Chagall will be digitized and cast onto the walls of the space, shrouding visitors in the shadow of swirling, golden trees, and the outlines of Bosch’s saints and sinners. Exhibits will be accompanied by an original soundtrack, composed to fit, and complement, each body of work. The overall effect is a vivid, immersive experience that affords plenty of space to take in the view—a welcome respite from clamouring for a spot near a comparably tiny gilded frame (we’re looking at you, Mona Lisa).
The new space will largely ape those at Carrières de Lumières, another Culturespaces outpost in Les Baux-de-Provence, about an hour north of Marseille, where 2012’s inaugural exhibit, “Gauguin, Van Gogh, the Painters of Color,” kicked off the techno-revolution. Now, they’re onto the œuvre of Chagall—with the help of 100 video projectors, 27 speakers, and a bespoke piano score by Mikhaïl Rudy.
The foundation, whose 12-museum roster also includes Paris’s Musée Jacquemart-André and Musée Maillol, purposely patronizes France’s abandoned or otherwise tumble-down building — many of which carry historic value — when it’s on the hunt for new facilities. Not only do they restore these aged edifices; they transform them into site-specific vehicles used to house other cultural riches.
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