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French WWII bunker is being converted into the world’s largest digital art centre

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A former WWII bunker in France is being converted into the world’s largest digital art centre, with multimedia displays projected over illuminated pools of water.

A digital projecting of Klimt's artwork in an underground bunker
Gustav Klimt : Jardin paysan avec fleurs de tournesol: Culturespaces – Nuit de Chine © akg-images; © akg-images / Erich Lessing; © Heritage Images / Fine Art Images / akg-image

Les Bassins de Lumières is a new digital art centre, set to open in April 2020 in Bordeaux, France. It’s contained in what used to be one of France’s biggest bunkers during WWII, used by Germans to house U-boats. A striking space of raw concrete, steel, water and darkness, the converted bunker is already an integral part of Bordeaux’s cultural scene and regularly hosts exhibitions and concerts. But from next spring, four of its watersheds will host permanent exhibitions.

Digital artwork displayed in an underground museum
Gustav Klimt : Jardin paysan avec fleurs de tournesol – Culturespaces – Nuit de Chine ; © De Agostini Picture Library / E. Lessing / Bridgeman Images ; © akg-images / Erich Lessing

Les Bassins de Lumières is what Culturespaces – the company bringing it to life – call the largest multimedia installation in the world, five times that of the Atelier des Lumières which opened in Paris in 2018, and twice that of the Carrières de Lumières in Les Baux-de–Provence in 2012. Artwork will be projected across huge swathes of concrete and water. In 2020, the company has planned immersive takes on the work of Klimt and Paul Klee and will use a hundred video projectors to bring pieces by other iconic artists to life.

Digital artwork of purple lights
Occhs: Ocean Data – Culturespaces – Nuit de Chine ; © De Agostini Picture Library / E. Lessing / Bridgeman Images ; © akg-images / Erich Lessing

The museum is made up of six parts: Le Cube will showcase artists specialising in immersive art in a sound-proof area; Le Citerne will host original versions of the works being displayed on digital projections; Les Grands Nénuphars is where visitors will find digital artwork displayed on water; a museum space will tell the story of the bunker’s history; an educational area will provide details on the science and technological side of the museum and finally, a mezzanine floor, stage and seating area will provide visitors with different viewpoints of the exhibition.

Colourful digital artwork in a dark underground museum
Gustav Klimt : Le Baiser – Culturespaces – Nuit de Chine ; © De Agostini Picture Library / E. Lessing / Bridgeman Images ; © akg-images / Erich Lessing

“Les Bassins de Lumières will offer visual experiences and unforgettable sounds in a space out of the ordinary, a sharing of culture that is open to all audiences,” says Culturespaces president Bruno Monnier.

Bassins de Lumières will open on 17 April 2020. For more information, see here.

 

The post French WWII bunker is being converted into the world’s largest digital art centre
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