By having its share from the increasing technological and innovative trends, the world’s artistic climate is rapidly changing. The collections, museums and exhibitions are inviting the audience to a closer and more personal experience through the unique projects they offer in a sequence. This time we took a technological perspective to the developments in the world of art through the ‘Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass’ project – which is a special digital reality project to be offered in scope of the Paris Louvre Museum retrospective that will be opening in the upcoming fall on the occasion of the 500th anniversary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. We discussed this appealing subject with the Louvre experts.
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It seems like the world has just given up on waiting the future of the art and culture, and instead, chosen to experience it now – well in advance. When we roughly consider the mediatic materials produced in the art world through the video interviews carried out with significant art figures and various academic articles written on the subject, it is clearly seen that everyone -including both the audience and producers- have already been setting their sights on the future for long.
For instance, the Franklin Institute located in Philadelphia/USA already shared its projects on the ‘Virtual Reality Experience’ with the world of culture through an exhibition they offered three years ago. (https://www.fi.edu/exhibit/virtual-reality-museum) Here, the visitors in the company of their own imagination and technology choose to take a journey towards the depths of the waters as well as the inner universe of the sky, space and even the human body.
This is crazy as “Dali”
Today, almost each museum and cultural organization has a mobile phone ‘extension’ and these kind of digital applications allow the visitors to have a lot more participatory, inclusive and direct experience of these organizations or the events they organize. Likewise, also the Dali museum located in Florida/USA achieved to draw all the attention with its project called ‘Dali is Alive’ (https://thedali.org/dali-lives/) which it launched this year in April, in awareness of this wealth and abundance in experience. Today, the organization is still continuing to provide the virtual reality experience through its existing new exhibitions as well as the art pieces that it offers. In this context, the museum will continue to accept visitors until November 3rd for its exhibition ‘Visual Magic: Dali’s Masterpieces in Augmented Reality’.
You can read my article on Virtual Experiences August’s issue.
For now, we are leaving you with the ‘biggest news’:
Would you like to meet and talk to Mona Lisa?
The Louvre Museum (https://www.louvre.fr/en/homepage), is preparing a special retrospective on Master’s -Leonardo da Vinci’s- life that was full of art, in the 500th anniversary of his death to mark this sad occasion. The exhibition will be opening its doors to the public on 24 October 2019. The event will be held until 24 February 2020 in the museum’s Napoléon Hall under the curatorship of Vincent Delieuvin from the Paintings Section and Louis Frank from the Lithography Section.
As part of this exhibition that will simply be a milestone, the Louvre is also excited to offer the museum’s first virtual reality (VR) experience with the partnership of HTC – VIVE Arts. As we know, the Louvre is one of the biggest art museums of the world and at the same time it holds the title of being the most visited art museum in the world – that is 10 million and 200 thousand visitors as of 2018.
So, the master Leonardo da Vinci’s most famous piece of art –Mona Lisa’s story is waiting to be ‘revived’ through the virtual reality glasses which are designed by this organization and which are also used by the New York Kremer digital museum collection mentioned above.
The project called Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass will allow visitors from all around the work to see Mona Lisa with a fresh pair of eyes. User can also access the home version of this virtual reality experience through HTC’s digital subscription service ‘VIVEPORT’ as well as through various other virtual reality platforms, meaning art enthusiast from all around the world will be able to get their hands on Mona Lisa: Beyond the Glass. The project will pave the way for visitors to interact with the paintings in the virtual world.
The Louvre Museum Mediation and Cultural Programming Director, Dominique de Font-Réaulx, says, ‘The visitors will have the chance to experience this extra-ordinary masterpiece in 3D version. Through this collaboration they will be able to meet the real Mona Lisa and get more information about her beyond all the myths and tales that have been accompanying this piece of art for more than 500 years’’.
Taking the opportunity, we held a brief interview with the Louvre Museum’s Cultural Programming and Interpretation Department Director,
Dominique de Font-Réaulx.
– In your opinion, what are today’s current art ‘trends’, and what is pushing them?
– It is quite hard to say. The last couple of years created an extremely dynamic time period regarding numerous technological developments and discoveries regarding the human relations. The museums remained -at least we hope so- as the only places where we interact with pieces of art. These interactions are simply one of a kind experience for many. Therefore, it is valuable. We still must be ready for any physical contacts and attempts to touch. The technological tools and new experiments on the other hand are only good devices that may help with this issue.
Art and any artistic experience is an essential experience anchored in the human psyche. The museums should therefore maintain their unique position as amazing places where such experiences can be shared.
– The last Venice Biennale – French Pavilion has drawn a lot of attention through its offerings of video materials, arrangements, music and text combinations. Experience has gradually became a more significant criterion for the temporary art. How do you interpret that?
– Experience is a vital matter. That is closely reflected in the expectations of the audience. This process that offers a direct, hands-on ‘experience’ rather than a simple ‘visit’ has been becoming more obvious in the recent years. The audience is willing to be a part of this process. They intend to understand what it is that they are watching and they are willing to experience a new set of feelings as well.
– Some of the culture and art organizations as well as some museums in Turkey have launched art history projects by using the virtual reality experience. In terms of interaction speed, does it also contribute to criticism?
– The opportunities offered by 3D Virtual Reality are astonishing. They offer new approaches towards the arts. They are making it possible to combine the arts and technology, reality and imagination, as well as the truth and narration. However, they must be efficient in terms of offering strong content based on information and expertise. This is what we are preparing for in Louvre with the HTS project.
–The Louvre’s Abu Dhabi project -which I saw in person- is almost as if it’s been designed through the spirit of a library and a encyclopedia. What operational goals do you think today’s museums and cultural organizations can have to build the civilization of future? For instance, what can be done to introduce kids, elders and also people who do not have the financial means, to art?
– Since their establishment, museums have been adding to the future’s civilization. This also explains why they were established in the first place during the end of 18th century. The mission they pursue has vital importance. A process which is still in progress in ways even more complex than before. Modern museums on the other hand have different expectations and their numbers are rising. The museums must tailor their cultural offerings to different societies. Today, each visitor, no matter from what background, represents a new society. Yes, this is a fight, but an outstanding one.