What used to be the Cathedrale des Images is now the Carrières de Lumières...the Quarries of Light...a magical space in a vast cave-like quarry at the base of the village of Les Baux. And their new sound and light show is about to begin. It's called ''Monet, Renoir...Chagall: Journeys Around the Mediterranean'' and you have almost a year to see it: it runs from March 8, 2013 to January 5, 2014.
The Cathedrale closed in 2011 and re-opened a year ago, with new management (the folks at Culturespaces) and state-of-the-art technology. Rumor has it that more than €2
million was spent to refurbish the 5000-square-meter site at the time; the last show (''Gauguin, Van Gogh: Painters of Color'') drew great reviews and 239,000 people came to see it. Now, thanks to further improvements done in advance of the new show, close to 100 video projectors will generate the carefully choreographed movement of 3,000 images over an area of more than 7,000
square meters, onto walls as high as 14 meters (45 feet), onto the ceilings and even the floor.
Here's what Culturespaces says about ''Monet, Renoir...Chagall: Journeys Around the Mediterranean'':
''In the second half of the 19th century, many artists left Paris and
the North behind, attracted by the light of the South, setting up their
easels between the Spanish border and the Italian Riviera. Their
artistic personalities were revealed through the contact with seascapes
portraying the Mediterranean coast which they depicted in a wide
diversity of styles. After a prologue devoted to Joseph Vernet, visitors
will be plunged in seven sequences into the world
of the Impressionists, with Monet and Renoir, the Pointillists, with
Signac and Cross, the Fauves, with Camoin, Derain, Vlaminck, Friesz,
Manguin, Marquet and Valtat, etc....and of course Matisse. You'll also discover
the palette of bright colours used by Bonnard and Dufy, ultimately
coming to one of the most important colourists of modern art: Chagall.
All together you'll see, through dramatic projections, 15 artists' impressions of the Mediterranean and its extraordinary light.''
The Carrières de Lumières is located in
the Val d’Enfer, a stone's throw from Les Baux. The quarry was created over the years In 1935, economic competition from modern materials led to the closure of the quarries. Dramatic and
otherworldly looking, the area has inspired artists of all sorts; the
Val d'Enfer provided the setting for Dante’s Divine Comedy and Gounod
created his opera Mireille here. Later, Cocteau came to film The
Testament of Orpheus in these very quarries. The Carrières du Val
d’Enfer has been awarded Natural Monument status in France.
de Lumières are open every day from 9.30 am to 7 pm (March to September) and from 10 am to 6 pm (October to January).
Carrières de Lumières
Route de Maillane
13520 Les Baux de Provence
Tel. : +33 4 90 54 47 37
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