Eternal Mucha

ProjectEternal MuchaLocationParis, FranceManufacturersDigital ProjectionLighting DesignerAtelier Audibert, France (lighting design), Chevalvert, France (graphics)InstallerETC OnlyviewSubmitted byDigital Projection

Staged by Paris’s Grand Palais Immersif, the Eternal Mucha exhibition saw nearly 30 Digital Projection laser projectors helping to breathe new life into the celebrated artist’s work over 80 years after his passing.

The projection content centres on a three-part film focusing on the life and work of Mucha, from his invention of Art Nouveau in Paris (act one) to his work on the Bosnia–Herzegovina pavilion at the International Exhibition of 1900 and his creation of his magnum opus, The Slav Epic (respectively acts two and three).

The film, along with high-resolution (50,000px × 70,000px at 300 DPI) images of Mucha’s work, is projected onto a triptych of projection surfaces – a 8,000px × 4,000px central screen, a narrow 13,000 × 3,000px ‘strip’, and a 8,000 × 4,000px projection area on the floor – with the three screens designed to complement each other while the content plays simultaneously.

Faced with a tight installation deadline and the sheer quantity of data needed for the videomapping aspect of the exhibition – 30 minutes of ultra-high-resolution video at 50fps – the 29 Digital Projection E-Vision Laser 11000 4K-UHD projectors deployed for the project proved both reliable and powerful, effortlessly enveloping Grand Palais Immersif’s 441m² exhibition space at the Opéra Bastille in Mucha’s decorative artworks and designs over the course of Eternal Mucha’s nearly nine-month run.

“We originally specified the Digital Projection projectors as they had enough power for a maximum number of exhibitions, with minimum maintenance,” says Laurent Segelle of technical provider ETC Onlyview, expressing his satisfaction with the projectors. “We wanted equipment capable of creating large-format images with great resolution and, of course, within the allocated budget. The fact that the projectors have a five-year original warranty was also very reassuring and helped with the choice.”

Powered by a single DLP® chip, the E-Vision Laser 11000 4K-UHD delivers 10,500 lumens at either 4K-UHD (3840 × 2160) or WQXGA+ (2716 × 1528) resolution, offering installers and end users the performance and flexibility they need for their project.

Building on previous successful Grand Palais Immersif shows, Eternal Mucha utilises state-of-the-art AV technology, particularly large-scale projection mapping, to place the audience inside the exhibition, which utilises a total projection area of 103,000 pixels, spatial sound mixing, and olfactory technologies to create a true multi-sensory experience.

Collaboration was key to delivering an immersive experience for exhibition visitors, with Grand Palais Immersif working with Studio Radio France (on sound design and music) and Technicoflor (on the olfactory elements) in addition to ETC Onlyview. Immersivity was further boosted by interaction devices and digital interfaces which increased audience engagement.

Summarising how the projection and other AV technologies helped Grand Palais Immersif bring Mucha’s works to life, Amit concludes: “[AV] technology enables us to present [Mucha’s] works in a different way: We can dive into large-scale reproductions and see details that we would otherwise have missed. Thanks also to the animation of these paintings, you can see, in a very detailed and inspiring manner, the way in which the movement in these drawings was achieved. This is a real advantage of digital technology.”