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Basin of Lights

When my mom told me, we’re going to an exhibition, I rolled my eyes, pfff. And then, when I got to the Basin of Lights, the art won.

Image of the Basin of Lights, from the Site

I wouldn’t have thought that the first exhibition I would see upon my return was going to be: initiated by my parents and in Bordeaux.

However, I discovered this great exhibit at the Basin of Lights and felt like sharing it.

A former Submarine Base that is coming back to life

The Basin of Lights is basically a former Submarine base. I vaguely remember visiting it when I was about ten years old.

I had not been very “marked” by the experience, my interest in submarines being quite limited…

It is a concrete building, half submerged, there is nothing beautiful about it, it is damp and dark.

And yet, what I saw there transcended me, made me smile. The art took on its full meaning. I entered skeptical, and came out convinced.

Relating past and present

I had missed in Paris the exhibitions at the Atelier des Lumières. Here, it’s the same principle.

Culturespaces create in several cities around the world this type of exhibition.

“The role of an art center is to decompartmentalize, and this is why digital technology must take its place in the exhibitions of the XXIth century. Put at the service of creation, it becomes a formidable vector of dissemination, capable of creating bridges between eras, of making artistic practices vibrate with each other, of amplifying emotions, of reaching the greatest number of people.”

Bruno Monnier, President of Culturespaces

Digital is at the service of art, and by using classical or more contemporary music, and light projections, art comes to life. And finally, by using past masterpieces, 21st century artists create a new work of art in its own right.

A total immersion

Sometimes the exposures get long, you think about your lunch, the errands you’ll have to run afterwards, or that handsome brunette watching a painting two meters away.

I love art, and yet I have always disparaged these exhibitions from a bygone era. The paintings follow one another, you have to read the tiny explanations, or listen to the monotone voice of the audio guide.

I have felt like I was in an art graveyard at times, visiting a museum.

Here, it is not. Already, impossible to see the beautiful brown, we are plunged in the dark. The only light dances on the walls. Here, we do not run after time, to see the most works possible. We let ourselves be carried, by the images and by the music.

The music transports us, it imprints in our celuli the rhythm of the painting, the atmosphere, the intrinsic identity of the artist.

The paintings them dance on the walls, cut out, immerse us in an elsewhere, in the universe of an artistic current or a painter.

Art makes sense

A long program alternates with a short program. Finally, to see everything, it takes a little more than an hour. Yet, one wants to stay there, to see the images still dancing on the concrete walls.

The day I went, “Monet, Renoir… Chagall, Journeys in the Mediterranean. ” was the long program and the short program “Yves Klein: The Infinitely Blue.”.

Here, no need for explanations, the images and the choice of compositions does not need words. The music but also the choice of the different works, the cuts, the associations highlight the will of the artists, their history, their desire.

We were like hypnotized. More focused than at the movies, suspended from the colors that flashed on the walls and reflected in the water.

Finally, the submarine base becomes a jewel, the water in the pools serves as a living mirror to the works, and the entire building comes alive to the rhythm of classical music.

It’s poetic, extremely beautiful, inspiring and brilliant. Art lovers or simple walkers, this is a unique and magical experience.

An exhibition that is hard to leave

Hyped by the images, we later discover the different spaces, the bleachers, and the second part of the building. One almost wants to have a second, or third session.

It’s almost emotional when we all emerge. My father, who sometimes has the same interest in art that I have in submarines, is almost speechless. He liked it, loved it even.

The hours that follow, we reminisce about our favorite moments, heaping praise on the spectacular directorial work.

For yes, the works are those of Monet, Chagall, Renoir and other impressionists, but the lighting and staging undoubtedly represent hours of work. Without a true artist’s eye and soul, the montage would not be so beautiful.

So thank you to the painters and musicians, past and present.

The Basin of Lights, and Culturespaces has a new fan.

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