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The immersive exhibition Atelier des Lumières
The immersive exhibition Atelier des Lumières | ©Culturespaces / E.Spiller
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This New Museum In Paris Lets You Walk Inside Famous Paintings

Picture of Jade Cuttle
Updated: 25 April 2018
Paris has always been an art lover’s paradise, with impressionist treasures at the Musée d’Orsay, mind-bending contemporary masterpieces at the Centre Pompidou and, of course, the world’s largest art museum, The Louvre. Now, a new museum is completely revolutionising the experience of seeing artwork in the flesh, letting visitors walk around ‘inside’ the paintings.

Paris has always been championed as a world capital for art, boasting more masterpieces than anyone could ever manage to actually see – it would take you at least 100 days to visit all the artworks in The Louvre, and that’s only if you spend 30 seconds looking at each item! A long favourite with art lovers, this city of culture now has a new cutting-edge experience to offer that challenges the whole concept of looking at art, tucked away inside this unsuspecting studio.

Each projected artwork covers stands at 10 metres tall, and the spectacle lasts 30 minutes
Each projected artwork covers stands at 10 metres tall, and the spectacle lasts 30 minutes | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

In the 11th arrondissement of Paris, between Nation and Bastille, there’s a brand new museum called Atelier des Lumieres (Studio of Lights). What’s unique about this art space is that it lets you experience art from the inside.

Atelier des Lumieres lets you explore art from the inside
Atelier des Lumieres lets you explore art from the inside | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

Unlike traditional galleries, you don’t just stand and marvel at the masterpiece displayed on the wall. In Atelier des Lumières, you actually walk around inside blown-up versions of famous paintings, utterly submerging yourself in the splendour of the creation.

Explore art in a new way at Atelier des Lumieres
Explore art in a new way at Atelier des Lumieres | ©Culturespaces / E.Spiller

The increased size of the paintings allows viewers to appreciate the intricate design of individual brushstrokes like never before.

Atelier des Lumieres
Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

There are no fewer than 120 video projectors in use across an epic 3,300 square metres. This means that the walls, floors and even ceilings are flooded with art to curate an ultra-immersive experience.

Atelier des Lumieres
Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

There’s even a specially curated soundtrack that plays (through 50 Nexo speakers with controlled directivity), making it feel like you’ve walked straight into a film, heightening the dramatic effect. It also ensures there are no distractions, so you can focus your attention on your surroundings.

Atelier des Lumieres
Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

“The role of an art centre is to decompartmentalise, and that is why digital technology is so important in 21st century exhibitions,” explained Bruno Monnier, director of Culturespaces, in a public statement.

Atelier des Lumieres
Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

“Used for creative purposes, it has become a formidable vector for dissemination, and is capable of creating links between eras, add dynamism to artistic practices, amplify emotions, and reach the largest possible audience,” Monnier says.

Atelier des Lumieres
Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

The museum’s first exhibition includes work by Gustav Klimt and Friedensreich Hundertwasser, two artists born in Vienna. During the 19th century, Klimt was a dressmaker and artist, producing a series of portraits and landscapes, while the work of Hundertwasser boldly flaunts abstract shapes and bright colours.

Klimt’s artworks displayed at Atelier des Lumieres
Klimt’s artworks displayed at Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

Each projected artwork towers over the spectator at 10 metres tall, and the awe-inspiring spectacle lasts 30 minutes in total.

Atelier des Lumieres
Atelier des Lumieres | © Culturespaces / E. Spiller

The revolutionary decision to bring immersive interactivity to the foreground not only shows there are still new ways to delve into and discover familiar works of art, but also that you can fall in love with artists, such as Klimt and Hundertwasser, over and over again.

The exhibition is open from now until 31 December 2018; from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Thursday, and 10am to 22pm Friday, 10am to 7pm Saturday and Sunday. Ticket prices start from €9.50 for people under 26; see the website for more information and to book tickets, click here.

L’Atelier des Lumières, 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris, France, +33 1 80 98 46 02