Bassins De Lumières

April 2020, Culturespaces will open the largest digital art center in the world:
Bassins de Lumières.

BASSINS DE LUMIÈRES is located in Bordeaux’s former submarine base, where it will be presented as a monumental immersive digital exhibition devoted to the major artists in the history of contemporary art.

The digital exhibitions are perfectly adapted to the monumental architecture of the submarine base and will be reflected in the water of the four enormous basins, thereby adding a new dimension to the immersive experience. Visits will be conducted on gangways above the water and along the quays of the enormous basins.
The Bassins de Lumières will offer visitors unforgettable visual and audio experiences in a unique setting, a place for sharing culture in an open space.

Photo: Simulation of the immersive exhibition – the Bassins de Lumières

Throughout the year, the Bassins de Lumières will hold exhibitions for the lovers of traditional and contemporary art and several exhibitions will be presented simultaneously:

Around the four enormous basins a continuous cycle of immersive digital exhibitions will be presented alternating between a long exhibition, devoted to the major artists in the history of art, and a shorter exhibition devoted to more contemporary works of art.

in Le Cube, a new 8-meters-high space devoted to contemporary artists specializing in immersive art, works by established and up-and-coming digital artists will be presented.

in La Citerne, a new 7-meters-high space the links between original works of art and their originating museums will be explored.

Photo: Simulation of the immersive exhibition – the Bassins de Lumières

Gustav Klimt: Gold and Color

To mark its opening, the Bassins de Lumières will focus on a century of Viennese painting and take an original look at Gustav Klimt and his successors through a presentation of portraits, landscapes, nudes, colors, and gilding. Klimt led the Vienna Secession, a movement that sought to break away from academic art: he paved the way to modern painting. The gold and decorative motifs are a symbol of this artistic revolution. Visitors will discover large-format masterpieces, such as the famous work The Kiss, and will be immersed in Imperial Vienna at the end of the nineteenth century.
Created by Gianfranco Iannuzzi, Renato Gatto, and Massimiliano Siccardi, with the musical collaboration of Luca Longobardi.

Paul Klee: Painting Music
This immersive exhibition will be devoted to the colorful abstract works by the German artist Paul Klee. A painter and also a musician and professor, the immersive exhibition will pay tribute to Klee’s pictorial world. It will take visitors from an opera overture in an imaginary city to an underwater concerto amidst gold and multicolored fish, and the rhythm of its geometric structures. Lastly, tens of corresponding portraits and puppets accompanied by Papageno’s song will conclude an enchanting interlude that combines painting and music.

In Le Cube, a special exhibition space, visitors will be able to discover a new work by the digital creation studio Ouchhh, which specializes in graphic design, motion design, and digital projections. Ouchhh uses Artificial Intelligence to create images and questions the act of artistic creation. Ocean Data is composed of millions of data captured in the sea in order to create a unique digital work in which forms, light, and movement are generated through an algorithm. Visitors will be taken into the heart of the ocean and embark on a journey through different materials, colors, and reliefs. The work combines art, science, and technology to create a contemplative experience.

Turkish collective OUCHHH, is a digital creation studio based in Istanbul, Los Angeles, and London. Le Cube will also present work of art by young contemporary digital art studios based in Bordeaux.

LA CITERNE – is devoted to the links between the original works of art and their originating museums:
During the immersive exhibitions, the paintings used as a basis for the work of the video makers will be presented in their entirety, with their name and the museum in which they are exhibited.

The Bassins de Lumières project
Since 2018, Culturespaces has implemented a major project to enhance and develop the four basins in the submarine base, entrusted to it by the City of Bordeaux. In addition to restoration work and the restoration of the site and the creation of technical areas, Culturespaces has decided to develop the site in order to improve the visitors’ experience.

“Digital technology is part of our daily life, and its use has become an integral part of our society. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, Culturespaces creates and develops digital art centres with high-quality exhibitions avec des expositions. Visitors in our digital art centers are completely immersed in works by the major artists in the history of art. It is a fresh approach that enables visitors to discover, rediscover, and view works by major artists from a different perspective.”
-Bruno Monnier, President of Culturespaces

Submarine Base is located in Bordeaux, built by the Germans as one of five major structures during the World War 2 (the others were located at Brest, Lorient, Saint-Nazaire, and La Rochelle.) This massive bunker arranged in eleven alveoli, is now an essential part of Bordeaux’s cultural landscape.

During the World War II, Bordeaux was an occupied city when decision was made to construct a shared submarine base to house the fleet of Germany and Italy.
The construction of the new base commenced in September 1941. The project was placed under the responsibility of the Bordeaux Oberbauleitung headed by Andreas Wagner. Around 6,500 French and foreign (Spanish, Belgian, and Italian) volunteers, and forced laborers worked on the base, which was extensive enough to accommodate fifteen large submarines. In 2012, a memorial was erected in tribute to all those who helped build the base.

The post-war period: an artistic site
During the Liberation, the covered lock and the torpedo storage bunker were destroyed, but the base’s principal structure was conserved. In 1945, the base was entrusted by the French Navy to the Autonomous Port of Bordeaux.
At the same time, the base attracted and fascinated artists who soon moved into the imposing site. Certain experiments, such as the filming of the final scene of the film Le Coup de Grâce by Jean Cayrol in 1965, the performances of the Sigma Festival in 1978, the installations created by the plastic artist Sarkis in 1980, and the filming of an episode in the series Highlander in 1996, foreshadowed the site’s future cultural vocation.

Culturespaces at the submarine base
In 2018, Culturespaces was entrusted with the management of four of the submarine base’s alveoli (formerly pens) in order to establish a digital art center. After creating the Carrières de Lumières at Les Baux-de-Provence and establishing the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, Culturespaces, planned to hold four immersive digital exhibitions devoted to modern and contemporary artists, as well as an immersive art festival. To achieve this goal, Culturespaces decided to further enhance the attractiveness of the submarine base by creating a digital art center to promote the culture and technology of the City of Bordeaux.

Curated by Culturespaces

Photo: Simulation of Klimt: gold and color – the Bassins de Lumières

The Bassins de Lumières
Base sous-marine de Bordeaux Impasse Brown de Colstoun 33300 Bordeaux

Elle Taylor