Sunday, April 29, 2018

Walking in Art

On Wednesday, we planned to take the boys to Marseille, something Tucker had requested to visit. I woke up early and scrolled through Facebook. That’s when I saw that two Facebook friends had shared the same article on a new art exhibit in Paris where art is projected onto the walls and you are in the midst of it. I wondered whether we could visit during our brief stay in Paris next week, but as I read further, I saw a comment about a similar exhibit in the South of France.
I looked it up and it was only 49 miles away. 
I asked the boys if they were willing to change plans, promising a side trip to the Pont du Gard Roman aqueduct afterward. They agreed. 
The trip to the Carrières de Lumières got a bit dicey as we wound through narrow mountain roads behind a tour bus, but we arrived at what appeared to be an old series of rooms built into a mountainside with giant blocks of stone. I later learned that carriere means quarry and this was a quarry in its day. 
We entered the cool, cave-like building, admiring the hulking bare walls, but wondering where the art was. 
We walked past people sitting on stones or standing in one spot. 
What were they looking at? I saw nothing but square stones built into tall walls. Then suddenly, the cave went black and everyone stood still. 
Music began and a riot of artwork filled the walls from strategically placed projectors.
The first show was called Flower Power. I thought it might be art with flowers, but instead it was artwork of the 70s accompanied by music from the 60s.
The edge of the rock walls stopped the painting from further projections
Imagine this on a wall stretched high above your head. And the whole cave, made up of several rooms, had different paintings, different projections. It was a little overwhelming, and sometimes dizzying. 

The 60s pop art filled the room with color.
I didn't  know many of the paintings, but recognized much of the music, Rolling Stones, Beatles, Beach Boys.
Here's a video I uploaded to Youtube so I could share it with you. Only 32 seconds long.

The creators of these exhibits looks for movement within the paintings and then create that movement.
That was more evident to me during the second exhibit, Picasso and the Spanish Masters. In one painting, two children played on a seesaw, but in this, the seesaw actually moved up and down.
If the ocean was in the picture, the waves rolled into shore.

I think that's Earl's outline in front of the painting.
A large part of the montage focused on Picasso, but I only got a few pictures that I recognized as his.
Picasso, right?
The other Spanish artists were names that I recognized but ones that I couldn't have pinpointed.
This impressionist painting of course appealed to me. 
Afterward, we agreed that we wished we'd seen the Spanish Masters exhibit first because the Flower Power one was so intense we didn't admire the Spanish masters as much as we might have if we'd seen the exhibits reversed.
After we walked blinking from the cave, we drove a fairly painless route to the Pont du Gard. Of course, the Pont du Gard is a Roman aqueduct built in 19 BC. It's one of those places that gives you goosebumps to think of the history. 
The sky and an arch carefully crafted by the Romans 
Earl and I had visited twice before, but the boys had never been. I knew they'd be impressed. It costs 8.50 Euros per person. The grounds along the river are spotted with people swimming in the river or lying on the banks. Underneath the aqueduct, men jumped from the rocks into the river.
The river and the city beyond the Pont du Gard
We walked along the aqueduct and we also climbed up to look at the top story of the aqueduct, but not tickets were available to walk across. Apparently, they only guide tours across the top pathway during certain times.

My boys posed briefly for a photo
I wondered why we had spent so much time in a cave when the weather outdoors was gorgeous, but we couldn't regret visiting the Carrieres de Lumieres.

We had a family photo taken by a kind woman and only miss having Grace there too. 
Then we stopped for lunch at a restaurant on the grounds with a great view of the Pont du Gard in the background.
Lunch with a view

We barely made it to lunch since they stopped serving at 2:30. The waiter agreed to let us have only a "plat" not an entree. So we ate sauteed pork in mushroom sauce, along with rice, vegetables and salad.
Don't worry about the boys missing out on Marseille though.
We went the next day and have sharp blue sky photos to prove it.


Anonymous said...

That sounds like an amazing art exhibition. I love the idea of waves rolling in.

Paulita said...

Francetaste, It's definitely worth a trip. Your kid would love it too.

Just Me said...

I don't even feel qualified to comment but it sure looks beautiful.

P.S. I'm getting advertisement related to Louisville below your post. Something new?

Paulita said...

Just Me, Yes, I added ads. Hope they aren’t too obnoxious. The ads are probably tailored to each person.

Doodle T said...

Wow! Fabulous!

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