Opening on the 17th of April next year, Bordeaux’s Bassins de Lumières art centre is poised to become one of the hottest locations for art fanatics. Located in a former WW2 submarine base, this monumental exhibition space will become the largest digital art space in the world. This mammoth project, spearheaded by Culturespaces, will see several enormous basins transformed into fully-immersive art projections. And as the pictures below show, the results are going to be nothing short of extraordinary.
This project is a fantastic example of reclaiming historical locations for the purposes of exhibiting art, a specialism of the Paris based company. The venue itself has something of a dark past. Having sheltered German U-boats from 1941 to 1943, it had remained derelict for decades before the location was chosen for temporary art exhibitions. Now, the move is due to become permanent, and the light of art will shine throughout this cavernous concrete space.
Following the building’s adaptive reuse, pieces will be projected across its vast stretches of water and concrete – with each watershed measuring 100 metres long, 22 metres wide and soaring to 12 metres high. Not only will each projected artwork reflect off the inert walls of the space, it will also glimmer on the stagnant water, making the entire structure come alive.
A post on their website gives some clue as to what kinds of artworks visitors can expect, promising “immersive digital exhibitions devoted to the major artists in the history of art and contemporary art.”
Visitors will be “conducted on gangways above the water and along the quays of the enormous basins,” with “14,500 square metres of projection area”.
The centre opens early next year, and although exhibitions haven’t been announced yet, Culturespaces promises ‘a very big name and a very beautiful projection’ as its first show.
This monumental project is the kind of ambitious installation digital art lovers savour, with new opportunities to explore the potential of the medium. In a country already blessed with a plethora of art spaces (the Louvre included), this will surely catapult the city of Bordeaux into a number one art lovers location. The concept of taking a disused underground space and transforming it into such a celebration of colour and light, is something that all art enthusiasts (whether traditional or modern) can embrace.
So get those tickets booked!
By Richard Oxley