Imagine Van Gogh the Original Immersive Exhibition in Image Totale©

WHEN & WHERE March 19 to August 29th, 2021, Open Daily 9am – Midnight | Vancouver Convention Centre

Reviewer John Jane

Now, I understand what you tried to say to me. And how you suffered for your sanity and how you tried to set them free. Many, like myself, were awakened to the artistic legacy and tortured life of Van Gogh through Don McLean’s haunting song “Vincent.”

Head of a Girl, oil on canvas
Photo: John Jane of a projected portrait by Van Gogh

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Post-Impressionist painter, born in Zundert, Netherlands in 1853 and died thirty-seven years later in Auvers-sur-Oise, a northwestern suburb of Paris. Because of his prolific output and bold expressive style, and perhaps also because of his tragic life, no artist’s legend looms larger than that of Van Gogh.

Imagine Van Gogh creators Annabelle Mauger and Julien Baron provide a virtual promenade inside the life and work of this iconic artist. The concept offers a rather unique immersive experience of seeing around 200 works through Van Gogh’s supposed vision. Visitors are free to navigate the display through their own rapture, which may be further enhanced by an accompanying soundtrack of popular classical music by Sergei Prokofiev, Camille Saint-Saëns, Franz Schubert, W.A. Mozart & Erik Satie.

The display is in two parts: The first consists of about a dozen information boards that provide detailed descriptions of the techniques of presenting Image Totale and the concept of Cathédrale d'Images as well as the life and times of Van Gogh himself. If you have time on your hands, it’s worthwhile making the effort to work your way through this section reading as many of the boards that you find interesting. Otherwise, proceed straight into the main room where you will be greeted by a panorama of magnified images of Van Gogh’s oil paintings, pencil drawing, hand-written letters and still photographs projected on twenty-five foot high walls around the periphery of a large indoor hall.

Image Totale© - Photo: Laurence Labat

Be prepared to be on your feet for a minimum of half an hour. You are expected to wander around rather than stand or sit (nowhere to do that) in one place. The images change too quickly to appreciate the art through a single loop, so I would recommend staying for at least two complete cycles. There is no beginning or end, so one may enter and leave the hall at any time without missing anything.

With the price of admission being around thirty bucks, some might consider it a little too pricey. However, with the level of technology involved and the restrictions of participation due to health orders, one can appreciate the high cost of putting on an exhibit of this magnitude.

© 2021 John Jane