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Dalí and Gaudí’s Surreal Creations Become Psychedelic Installations at This Digital Art Museum

By Sarah Buder

Mar 6, 2020

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Two digital art exhibits dedicated to the works of Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí are on view at the Carrières de Lumières in Provence, France, until January 2021.

Courtesy of © Culturespaces/Nuit de Chine

Two digital art exhibits dedicated to the works of Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí are on view at the Carrières de Lumières in Provence, France, until January 2021.

At the Carrières de Lumières in Provence, France, two new exhibits showcase digitized projections of imaginative works by the two eccentric Catalan creators.

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Travelers to France’s Provence region—known for rolling vineyards, olive groves, and lavender fields—can now see famous works by Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí transformed into massive digital art projections at the Carrières de Lumières. This March 6, the digital art museum debuted individual exhibits dedicated to the two 20th-century artists—both of whom hailed from Catalonia and remain well-known for their creations that used surreal and imaginative details and design. The immersive exhibits—one titled Dalí, the endless enigma, and the other, Gaudí, the Architect of the Imaginaryare on view at the Carrières de Lumières until January 3 and 6, respectively, in 2021.

“Dalí, the endless enigma” marks the first immersive digital retrospective of the Catalan painter’s career.

Dalí, the endless enigma encompasses large-scale digital projections of paintings, drawings, and archival images spanning more than 60 years of the Catalan painter’s career, with a particular focus on Dalí’s obsessions with the strange and the supernatural,” according to exhibit organizers. Inside the exhibit, 100 video projectors create 53-foot-high versions of some of Dalí’s masterpieces on the space’s walls, displaying works like The Persistence of Memory (1931), one of his most famous paintings, which depicts deformed pocket watches strewn across a craggy beach.

What’s more: The immersive digital exhibition, which lasts about 40 minutes, will be set to the music of the legendary psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd. As visitors stroll through, 30 speakers will play tracks from albums such as The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979), a decision that curators say is intended to set an otherworldly tone for the surrealist display.

“Gaudí, the Architect of the Imaginary” spotlights the 20th-century Catalan architect’s modernist buildings (similar in style to art nouveau).

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The end of the path through Dalí, the endless enigma marks the entrance to the museum’s Cutback studio, where a 10-minute exhibit, titled Gaudí, the Architect of the Imaginary, spotlights the Catalan architect’s modernist buildings (similar in style to art nouveau). Vibrant light-based projections of Gaudí’s most famous buildings, which blend Catalan and Moorish architecture, fill the studio, recreating the colorful mosaics, stained glass windows, and intricately textured surfaces of the architect’s most famous landmarks. (Many of Gaudí’s Barcelona buildings are UNESCO World Heritage sites—among them the Parc Güell, the Casa Batlló, the Casa Milà, and the Sagrada Família.) It’s a fascinating way to admire Gaudí’s audacious works up close if your trip to the south of France doesn’t include following the Mediterranean coast toward Barcelona.

The Carrières de Lumières is located near Les Baux-de-Provence, a medieval town in southeastern France (reachable in about 30 minutes by car from Arles). The digital art museum is open daily throughout the year, though hours vary; check opening times online. Admission is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, and $13 for individuals between 25 and 7 years old. Children under 7 enter for free.

Editor’s Note: A “COVID-19 Prevention Measure” on the Carrières de Lumières’s website states that “the site will remain open to the public on the usual days and times” and that “appropriate measures have been put in place in accordance with the recommendations of the General Directorate of Health.”

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