Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-2
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-2

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-2

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Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta

When we heard that French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot had flooded the Palais de Tokyo in her  latest exhibition Acquaalta, we pretty much dropped all our plans to see it (the fact that there was a heat wave in Paris didn't hurt).

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta

The exhibition was inspired–and named after–the Acqua Alta phenomenon in Venice; the annual flooding of the Venetian lagoon that leaves city dwellers wading around in waist-deep water. Boursier-Mougenot's indoor interpretation left us feeling as if we entered into a dark, spectre-filled version of the river styx.

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-1
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-1

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-1

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta

“It is good to worry the visitor sometimes, to give him or herself a coded image. People love seeing themselves disappear.”–Céleste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta

It was immersion and audience participation at its best. Museum goers were given control of their own boats that they navigated through the black pools that traversed the ground floor of the expansive warehouse space, as phantom-like projections moved along the walls to reflect the "voyage through their own psyche" (Palais de Tokyo).  Turns out the form-distorting projections were real time recordings of the actual people disembarking from the boats on the other side of the museum.

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-3
Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-3

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta-creativemapping-3

Celeste Boursier-Mougenot Acquaalta

Visually, the exhibition was stunning, and to immerse visitors inside an exhibition to such an extent brings a new depth to the experience of engaging with art.

 

Can't make it to the show (running through November 22nd, 2015)? Take a virtual boat ride through the exhibition on our Instagram

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