Thursday, June 26, 2014

Walking through Klimt Paintings

One of the coolest places we went on our trip to France was the Carrieres de Lumieres (the Quarry of Lights) in Les Baux de Provence, not far from Arles. Look at this place!!! 


It's an ancient quarry that's been converted into this incredible multi-media art space, a sound and light show like nothing I've ever seen before. This year the show is: "Klimt and Vienna: A Century of Gold and Colors," and basically it is like walking through Klimt paintings. They couldn't have chosen an artist better suited to this treatment. It's a dreamscape, created by seamless projection of paintings over every surface of this vast space. There's music. The show is a little under a half-hour. You just walk or stand still and look in all directions while the paintings surround you, moving and blending and coming to life. It's indescribable. You can stay as long as you want, see it as many times as you wish. From every vantage point it's a different show.

Here's some of the on-site signage describing the history of the quarry:

The Cocteau movie mentioned above is projected on perpetual loop in another semi-enclosed chamber of the quarry. So cool.

Schiele and Hundertwasser are also in the main show. I love Hundertwasser, and look how cool his paintings look at this scale:

And then--bonus--the Carriere happens to be in a beautiful village capped with an amazing sprawling ruined medieval castle you could spend all day exploring, not to mention see the trebuchet demonstration, the duel, and practice your crossbow skills.

Les Baux de Provence, set in the Val d'Enfer (Valley of Hell):

The castle:

Clementine put us in stocks and took our picture...

Local girls taking part in a religious procession:

These "santon" figures are everywhere in this region. There's a museum in town, and tons for sale in the shops:

The day we spent here was a highlight of the trip. 
A great day out with kids or without. Highly recommended! 


Jessica said...

That whole experience looks so amazingly gorgeous...not only are you and your husband lucky to have experienced it, but Clementine is getting such a richly wonderful childhood to grow up and be inspired by!

Laurence King said...

I love Les Baux de Provence and I will be at the Carrières de Lumière in September! It is truly magical :)

Kim Aippersbach said...

Oh, my heavens, I am kicking myself now! We were there, in Les Baux, on a bike tour, and we had the option of stopping at Les Carrieres--in fact we cycled right past it--but we were tired and just wanted to get back to our hotel to have a shower and crash, so we decided not to stop. Had I but known what I would be missing . . . Thanks for the photos!

Marina said...

Oh, wow! I want to get on a plane RIGHT NOW to go see that show. How amazing! Thanks for the gorgeous photos (and for introducing me to a new artist -- I'd never heard of Hundertwasser, but I love the bright joyousness of his work).

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