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Go/Don’t go to “Immersive Van Gogh”? This depends on

In 2006, we went to Chicago to see the movie “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” Field Museum. This highly anticipated show was traveling to different cities to raise funds for the restoration of Egyptian antiquities. Tickets were expensive at the time – $25 – but nearly 200,000 were sold before the show opened.

We remember the long lines, a movie narrated by Omar Sharif, the boring and bulky music, and we didn’t get close enough to see something obvious. We remember browsing the many crowded galleries, left with a sense of relief and said “Andy andy jazz!” It looked more like a show than an exhibition. We didn’t like it.

Today’s show does not include ancient artifacts or even actual artwork. It’s all about expectations. A sophisticated floor-to-ceiling performance paired with a music playlist creates a great atmosphere. You enter space while you are surrounded. Circumstance. dark.

This is art as entertainment, experience, distraction, and relaxation. Escaping from the daily news and events for the past year and a half. It is now held at 1515 Central Avenue. NE, an industrial building from the 1920s, renamed Lighthouse Minneapolis, where “Immersive Van Gogh” Until October 31 or more, depending on how popular it is. The exhibition itself is currently in progress or about to open in more than 20 cities across the United States. It has already been extended to several.

The article continues after the announcement

We started hearing in mid-April that “Immersive Van Gogh” was coming to Minneapolis this summer and he was instantly shocked. The practice of producers is to announce the opening of the show, but not to advertise the venue. The press releases speak of a “secret place that must be identified.” It might be fine in Phoenix, Columbus, or Orlando to randomly pick a few cities that aren’t Minneapolis, but things didn’t go so well here, as Derek Chauvin’s experiment was in action. The first copy we received was on the 19th of April and the verdict was delivered in the Chauvin trial on the 20th of April. For a company that made efforts to establish local connections, this was a mistake.

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The “secret location” was promoted as an “addition to the intrigue” of the show, but it mostly irritated people, especially those who were interested in the show but weren’t ready to get into Minneapolis.

The location was revealed in June, and at least (switch to Facebook chat) it wasn’t downtown. sitting Northeast Minneapolis Arts District It was a good move and it gave Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey something to point out and praise at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting party.

MinnPost photo by John Whiting

Mayor Jacob Frey with the show’s producers and other VIPs after cutting the ribbon.

So what is the presentation format like? There are two large rooms, one larger than the other, with high, open ceilings painted black. Concrete floors. (You can bring a pillow. If you buy a VIP ticket, you will be given one to keep. If you buy a Premium ticket, you can borrow one. Otherwise you can rent one. Sigh.) Simple two-person seats are distributed in both areas. The rooms, which also have some columns Three-sided reflector that reflects everything that happens on the walls and in the room. Try not to walk on it.

The smaller room looks more manageable. In the larger room, projections are also projected onto the floor, and so much of what happens at once can be confusing for some people.

The same 40-minute digital movie is shown in both rooms at the same time, in a continuous loop. You can come and go at any time and stay as you like. Manufacturers suggest sitting at least twice all the time.

The film is in constant motion. Parts appear, melt, light up and disappear. The bits are animated. A train crosses the bridge. Candles sparkle. Blowing flowers in the sky. The iris opens. Windmills in turn.

Pictures from inside the immersive Van Gogh exhibition

MinnPost photo by John Whiting

Start with flies, flies actually, swat-type. It ends with seeing the stars and the artist’s portraits. If you want to know what causes flies and why everything else you see on the walls around you, download the free Lighthouse Immersive app. She has an itinerary called “Visiting with Vincent”. What might otherwise appear to be a random set of three images is, in fact, a thoughtful story developed by Italian film producer, creative director Massimiliano Siccardi, and writer Richard Ozonian. If you know the story, whether you heard it during or before the show, the movie makes more sense. Otherwise, it may seem that someone threw the pictures on the walls.

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Pictures are taken from dozens of paintings. Some of them are immediately recognizable: “Sunflowers”, “The Bedroom in Arles”, “Iris”, “Starry Night”. Others you probably wouldn’t know if you didn’t study the artist and his work. Nothing in the movie is rated or identified.

The article continues after the announcement

The film is accompanied by music by author Luca Longobardi, and if you like, you can listen to it on your Spotify playlist. You might recognize some of them: Selected versions of Handel and Mozart, Barber’s Adagio for strings, Edith Piaf singing “Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien”, Moments from Mussorgsky-Ravel’s “Pictures in Gallery”.

The goal is to create an emotional experience, an escape. Before cutting the tape, producer Silvia Caracciolo said the show “talks about your emotions on such a high level that you have no choice but to walk away. … It depends on how open you are, but we’ve seen a lot of different emotions. People laugh, cry and reflect.” …we have quite a few posts “–people suggested during the show–” which is very exciting. “

Well, you have a choice, and it “depends on how open you are” is a little judgmental, but there’s nothing wrong with responding to beauty with laughter or crying, or why not ask someone to marry you.

Fry described the show as “the perfect place to rejuvenate here in Minneapolis” after a grueling year. Amen to this.

We were skeptical about getting in (blaming King Tut at the Field Museum), but we saw the faces of the people around us, heard them clapping during the show, and watched them take their seats or choose a seat on the floor and stay here. . Van Gogh Immersive has been a hit in many cities and is about to appear here. Also, someone had to turn a warehouse into a beacon, there are many people in the gallery who welcome you, guide you, make sure you wear a mask (masks are required), answer your questions and are happy to sell the stuff in the gift shop. aka you are working.

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A mural with an arched stone bridge painted in a mysterious style reminiscent of Van Gogh

MinnPost photo by John Whiting

If you go, don’t just enjoy the art in the lobby. In addition to “Starry Night”/Stone Arch Bridge, there is a GOGH sculpture inspired by Richard Indiana and three interesting works by Bay Area production designer Randy Wong-Westbrook, including a sculpture drawn with an Impasto knife. Frey said a mural would soon be painted on the outside of the building — by local artists?

If you go, it will cost you. Ticket prices range from $29.99 (for children ages 6-16) to $99.99 (VIP). Prices vary from day to day and hour to hour.

Which brings us to a modest proposal. Art museums have been hit hard during the pandemic. There’s a real real Van Gogh, framed and on the wall in my 355″ gallery per me. “UliviIt is one of the paintings shown in “Immersive Van Gogh”. You can watch it for free during museum opening hours (currently Thursday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) and make a donation or become a member. (Mia also owns a drawing and engraving of Van Gogh. Neither is on display at the moment, though now seems like a good time to take them out of storage.)

Minnesota has a second Van Gogh available for public viewing. “Beach in Scheveningen” shown Minnesota Maritime Museum of Art to Winona. Open from 10:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday. General admission is $9.