I’ve intended to go to see the Visions Alive: Monet to Kandinsky for months now, and being solo with a somewhat rainy Saturday seemed the perfect opportunity.
Housed in a large warehouse, a 1,000 sqm space is turned into an immersive visual and musical experience, with large projection screens that cover the entire wall space.
Entering through black curtains I am immediately engulfed in the black. As the images and sound slowly grow, I get my bearings and finally locate a stool. People are seated all around, some in chairs, others on the floor; their heads, hands, and bodies become a part of the art and the experience. There is no empty space except in the middle of the room.
The creators use digital technologies to create a 60-minute show that loops continuously, drawing from the works of twelve masters: Monet, Degas, Gaugin, Rousseau, Toulouse-Lautrec, Klimt, Signac, Mondrian, Modigliani, Van Gogh, Renoir, Gris, Klee, Munch, Kandinsky and Malevich. The art is brought to life through deconstructing, reconstructing and superimposing images. The soundtrack is a wide array of well-known classical music (the credits are listed on their website) and other evocative pieces.
In contrast to many art events these days, there are few cameras or phone screens visible. I am careful to turn off my flash, hence the very dark images, and manage to catch a few shots and glimpses of the movement and passion all around.
I especially love the music set to Modigliani’s work, and I’m captivated by the twinkling dancers superimposed over Degas’ dancers set to Chopin’s Valse Op 64. No 2. Waltz in C sharp minor #7. Quotes from the artists are also displayed. Claude Monet’s quote, “I tried to do the impossible, to paint the light itself,” captures the spirit of this production.
The exhibition’s creators are Artplay Media, an international team who specializes in creating multimedia exhibitions. Their skills include art, sound production, design, technology and marketing. Clearly they have done their homework and create a very engaging hour-long experience.
I am enchanted for the first hour. When the loop returns to the point at which I entered, I sit for a short time, but find the second viewing less compelling. But the music haunts me for the remainder of the day. Especially, Chopin’s Valse Op 64. No 2. Waltz in c sharp minor #7.
Note: The images of the dancers may appear black for a few seconds in the middle
I reflect on the impact of the music versus the images, but come to no conclusion. Most important is the feeling that travels with me as I make my way back to the train, with street art coming into view.
© Lisa Howells and Mary Reynolds, 2018