Go Beyond Van Gogh
Have you seen this? I wasn’t sure I’d find the immersive multimedia experience with the works and life of Vincent Van Gogh anything but underwhelming, unless it descended into cheesy. The intro section with luminous closeup projections on square panels of Van Gogh’s quick, confident brushstrokes, his words and a loose, sometimes confusing chronology tries too hard. But then—to warnings of possible motion sickness—you enter the projection room. It’s hard to get beyond the entrance because people tend to stop at the first sight of the shifting, flowing, falling, spiraling projections of whole paintings and details, some as large as sunflower bouquets, some as small as a flower petal, across multiple screens, walls and even the floor. As the images build and collapse, sometimes stroke by stroke as if Van Gogh’s hand itself is at work, a moody soundtrack follows the movement. The show is seamless, looping every 45 minutes, so there is no being late or missing anything.
Tickets are still available for slots in three remaining Canadian cities—Halifax, Winnipeg and Victoria. Many cities in the US and a few international centres will be hosting the show in the coming months. Tickets seem expensive ($24 to $94) for the length and complexity of the experience, and the memorabilia is definitely, over priced. So there are no discounts or deals with this one. And I did wonder about the ethics of pulling apart and reconstructing the work of one of the world’s greatest painters—Starry Night builds in rivers of swirling blues and blacks. The portraits blink at you from time to time. Regardless, it’s worth the price of admission to stand and marvel at the flood of colour that passed through Van Gogh’s brush as it swirls around you and sometimes seems to pass through you. Go to Beyond Van Gogh.