INK158: EXPERIENCE – When art gets multimedial

Original Italian version by Asia Negri. Cover by Alberto Fusco.

Innovation in the digital world is surprising us more and more. With the extremely high resolution that’s now a feature of new devices we get to make a simple image come true, almost touchable. When this kind of innovation combines with art we obtain what are called “Experience Exhibitions”, a phenomenon that is gaining lots of success. From 2016 up to now Italy has hosted various multimedial exhibitions, the first one about The Uffizi of Florence, followed by the outstanding Van Gogh Alive, the most seen in the world and that is still proposed in many italian cities; Klimt Experience, that has counted more than 50.000 participations; and versions with other artists such as Dalì, Monet, Caravaggio, Chagall and Leonardo.
The experience exhibitions are characterized by the continuous projection of hundreds, thousands of images showing the artist’s works, for about an hour, on a loop.
The settings, properly called “experience rooms”, are provided with enormous screens that create the walls and the internal structure. Every surface, from the floor to the ceiling, takes in the images from dozens of state-of-the-art laser projectors, even capable of creating very deep zooms, that guide the eyes as they were on the way to discover the smallest of details, as many coloured lights complete the visual atmosphere.
Everything is accompanied by music tracks, a soundtrack purposely chosen in order to emphasize the image, and to make even more effective what can be summed up as a real spectacle that is able to communicate the actual meaning of the work itself, its nature and its message, through the emotions that it generates.
It is a way of contemplating art that is completely new, an innovation headed to the creation of a fruition that is a complete sensorial and emotive experience, making possible of the viewer to be litterally absorbed by the painting, by its colours, by its brushstrokes. The combination of lights, music and images transports the viewers and includes them, to the point in which a total identification is possible, leading them to feel as painting and artist at the same time. It’s a kind of experience that is exciting, but also relaxing, completely different from the former exhibition.
The success that has been registered during the two last years confirms that the spectacular union between art and digital world has been able to reach predefined goals, but it hasn’t been saved from criticism, since it has generated doubts about how possible it could actually be to fully enjoy an art piece only in its digital form.
In fact, the main difference between experience and traditional exhibitions is the actual physical absence of the art work. For this reason, the digital one will never be able to completely substitute the exhibition and the fruition of what is real, that lets you enjoy the art piece also (and mostly) as a concrete, material object.
What is sure is that, by any means, this is a new method, in tune with out times, capable of entertaining through culture, sensibilizing and teaching in a more captivating way, both for devotees and for the less interested, but also for kids, for whom specific paths are projected, that are interactive and that combine game with learning.

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