First Vincent van Gogh was put in the immersive-experience spotlight, followed by Claude Monet, and then Pablo Picasso. Now it’s Salvador Dalí’s turn.
The Dalí Museum, St. Petersburg, Florida, and Grande Experiences have announced they are collaborating to develop Dalí Alive, a large-scale multi-sensory experience. Grande Experiences, by the way, is no stranger to immersive experiences of this scale — it also created the exceedingly popular Van Gogh Alive exhibit.
At Dalí Alive, “A powerful symphony of light and sound will transport visitors directly inside the surreal visions and landscapes synonymous with the artist,” The Dalí Museum and Grande Experiences said in a joint statement.
“The Dalí’s mission is to preserve and share Salvador Dalí’s celebrated artistic legacy,” Dr. Hank Hine, executive director at The Dalí Museum, said in a statement. “Our partnership with Grande Experiences allows us to amplify Dalí’s transformative story to a wider audience — those that can’t visit The Dalí in St. Petersburg will now have the opportunity to appreciate the legendary artist and his wide-ranging impact through this remarkable and theatrical digital display.”
A Unique Artist
Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) is, arguably, the world’s best-known Surrealist artist. These artists “were fascinated by dreams, desire, magic, sexuality, and the revolutionary power of artworks to transform how we understand the world,” according to the Art Institute of Chicago.
“Dalí’s chief theoretical contribution to Surrealism was his elaboration, in the early 1930s, of the ‘paranoiac-critical method’ —a process, he wrote, to ‘systematize confusion and thereby contribute to a total discrediting of the world of reality,’” according to MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art. “The method described a deliberately disoriented state of mind that would allow an individual to connect unrelated things, forging fresh avenues of thought and creation.”
The Persistence of Memory, perhaps his most famous painting, is as easily recognizable as Dalí himself. The celebrated painting depicts three pocket watches hanging limply in a nature landscape.
“As sunlight hits the distant cliffs and glassy water, ants teem on the surface of the single closed watch, and a fly alights nearby — suggesting rot and waste in an otherwise pristine landscape. With its uncanny juxtaposition of the ordinary and the bizarre, and its suggestion of time arrested or out of sync (the watches all point to different numbers), The Persistence of Memory possesses an eerily dreamlike quality,” MoMA explains. “It showcases Dalí’s interest in exploring how the mind interprets reality and the primacy of sexuality to the human psyche — lines of inquiry that would remain constant throughout [Dalí’s] career.”
A Monumental Experience
“Dalí Alive explores how the artist continually reinvented himself — his place, his person, his family, and his very human transience — to overcome obstacles,” The Dalí Museum and Grande Experiences explain. “His personal and artistic moments of reinvention are shared through chronological segments highlighting his childhood in Spain, his introduction to surrealist circles in Paris, his refuge in America during WWII, his return to Spain, and his enduring cultural impact still recognized today.”
Creating the multi-sensory immersive experience will be possible because it combines Grande Experiences’ technical capabilities and expertise with The Dalí Museum’s collection of more than 2,400 of Dalí’s works, including oil paintings, original drawings, book illustrations, artist’s books, prints, sculpture, photos, manuscripts, and a large archive of documents.
Interestingly, The Dalí Museum has its own experience creating multimedia Dalí exhibits. Over the years, The Dalí has introduced numerous digital Dalí experiences, including Dreams of Dalí, an award-winning virtual reality experience that “transports viewers inside one of Dalí’s paintings.”
“We could not be more excited to collaborate with the esteemed Dalí Museum to create Dalí Alive and bring this surreal experience to audiences across the U.S.,” Bruce Peterson, executive chairman and founder of Grande Experiences, said. “Visitors will enjoy the unique opportunity to dive deep into the imaginative world of Salvador Dalí and submerge themselves in his beautiful, iconic, and captivating art as we bring it to life. In my opinion, if Salvador Dalí were alive today, he would be creating in this exciting new-age digital medium.”
Details Yet To Come
A location and dates for the world premiere of Dalí Alive have not been announced yet; however, Grande Experiences’ website notes that the experience is coming in Fall 2022.
In the meantime, you can virtually experience The Dalí Museum here and take a virtual tour of the museum here. You can also read about Grande Experiences’ Van Gogh Alive immersive experience when it was held at The Dalí Museum here.
For more about immersive art experiences, be sure to read