4 Answers

  1. The exhibition is not only and not so much about looking at original paintings. First of all, a good exhibition is an added value to these very paintings. Specifically, in the case of multimedia exhibitions, this is a new experience for visitors, and for museums and art as such, it is attracting the attention of more people to this very art.

    Your own photo from the interactive Van Gogh exhibition is fascinating. You feel like you're immersed in a “Starry Night”, add space music — and it's a pure thrill. You can also get stylish photos from such exhibitions 🙂

    We can, of course, twist our noses in a snobbish way and say that without original works, an exhibition is not an exhibition. But spectacular exhibitions attract a lot of people, all social networks are filled with photos from them.

    It seems to me that it is much more important to attract the attention of a bunch of people to art, to introduce it through a spectacular image, than to leave museums in a corner quietly gathering dust. Today they are taking selfies against the background of a multimedia picture, tomorrow they are already reading about the artist, and the day after tomorrow for them Cezanne, Rousseau, Signac, Bonnard are close friends.

  2. To be honest, almost none. Almost.

    First, multimedia exhibitions are not organized by museums. At best, museums give them licenses to use digitizations. Which, by the way, are publicly available — so if you want to spend an hour with Van Gogh in a hundredfold magnification, you can do it right at home on Wikipedia or in the Google Art Project.

    Secondly, multimedia exhibitions are never held anywhere in Alaska because of the inability to carry originals — they are held in large cities where there are their own museums, often with original works that are going to be shown at a multimedia exhibition. Case in point: The Van Gogh exhibition in New York City will show paintings that are located in the center of the city… in New York.

    The point is that multimedia exhibitions are purely commercial events that capitalize on the desire of the middle class to relate to culture while not actually going to the museum.

    Over the past decades, museum demographics have been the subject of many marketing studies, which have found that tourists really go to the museum for a tick, and many — for one picture. The rest of the museum is at best uninteresting to the average viewer; at worst, it reminds the tourist that he is a tourist. An outsider. All those nameplates mean nothing to him.

    At the same time, in large cities, there are many sites for multimedia shows — in converted warehouses or hangars left after the eviction of heavy industry outside the city limits (in the case of New York, this is Park Avenue Armory, Pier 90, TeamLab and others). Some of them are engaged in rather pointless rides, some exhibit legitimate art. The bottom line is that the number of such sites has only grown over the past years.

    In total, we have a target audience, infrastructure, and a fairly simple business plan: take the very one picture that everyone goes to the museum for, and make a light show out of it.

    It's wildly profitable. Multimedia exhibitions do not need a crowd of security guards and a microclimate, so they avoid the main expenses associated with the museum business, and can really earn money on tickets (museums only lose money on tickets). Moreover, tickets for such events are absurdly expensive: they go up to $40-50 per person, while museums ask for half as much, and are generally shareware.

    By the way, this should also make it clear that multimedia exhibitions do not have any educational ambitions at all. No projection on the wall gives a person either knowledge of the historical context or an adequate idea of the original form — and the accompanying text will be short, simple, and full of the wildest stereotypes (because the context can only be described normally in literature, and the form must always be viewed live).

    But people leave with the feeling that they have joined a high culture. This is of course a complete self-deception — but probably no worse than astrology, homeopathy or NLP.

    But perhaps this is the only value of multimedia exhibitions: they take on the flow of onlookers, and leave museums to those who go there on business.

  3. Yes, multimedia exhibitions also have value, but of a slightly different order than exhibitions in the classical sense.
    Most of the multimedia exhibitions such as “live canvases” and so on, first of all, contain an educational function, and their main goal is not to curate statements and exhibit originals, but to introduce the artist/art direction to a wide audience in the most understandable way. Such exhibitions allow you to remember the main facts about the artist, show the main works that can not always be brought to an exhibition in another country.
    It doesn't make sense to compare them with museum exhibitions 🙂

  4. It seems to me that these exhibitions also show that it is not always possible to bring the original works of Van Gogh or the Lesser Dutch somewhere. This is difficult, expensive, and rare. Some works are generally very fragile and it is simply dangerous to carry them. A good multimedia exhibition makes art more accessible. I can't go to Amsterdam and see the Van Gogh Museum, but I can go to the multimedia exhibition of his paintings and see all the brushstrokes in the painting “Starry Night”. Ideally, of course, it would be good for such exhibitions to come more to remote regions, where the saturation of museums is much less than in the capitals, and then their value would increase many times.

    A striking example is Leonardo da Vinci's fresco The Last Supper. Access to it is already very limited, and in the future it will only become more and more inaccessible, since it is greatly destroyed by the impact of the presence of people. So, most likely, in principle, we will only be able to see its multimedia copy.

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