"The Young Picasso - Blue and Rose Periods" is the largest show in the history of the Fondation Beyeler. The focus of the exhibition is on the seven years in the life of Picasso that paved the way for the emergence of cubism, which he initiated in 1907 at the age of only 25.
At the end of the exhibition, a multimedia space offers a playful exploration of Picasso's life and work. It was planned, designed and delivered by iart on behalf of and in collaboration with Fondation Beyeler. After the Gauguin-exhibition in 2015 and the exhibition on Der Blaue Reiter, in 2016, this is our third multimedia collaboration with the Fondation Beyeler.
Interactive Books Offer Playful Exploration
There are six interactive books distributed throughout the room. They combine the haptic experience of conventional illustrated books with the possibilities of interactive media and the luminosity of digital colours. Certain areas of the pages are printed, while others are augmented with projected moving images. For example, photos of studios, galleries or taverns slide into the book when a place on the map of Paris is touched; colours of paintings change through touch; a "scanner" exposes the deeper layers of paintings; preparatory sketches broaden the view of a masterpiece; or a cat scurries over a printed rooftop… Short sound elements accentuate the animations in the book and provide feedback to the haptic interactions. Background information can be accessed in three languages. Contentwise, the books focus on Picasso's stylistic development.
Historical Panorama in Film
The biographical context is given by a wall-projected film. In ten chapters it tells of the formative events between 1900 and 1907: at the age of 18, Picasso travels to the World Fair; shortly afterwards, his friend Carles Casagemas kills himself; Picasso lives in Montmartre in great poverty... Historical film footage from Paris, Barcelona or Gosol immerses viewers in the atmosphere of the time. In between, central paintings appear in close-ups and illustrate the artistic development; text inserts in three languages exemplify the connections between life and work. The originally silent recordings are accompanied by a soundscape that, on the one hand, allows sounds of the environment to shine through - the port of Barcelona, the busy streets of Paris, the tranquillity of the Pyrenees - and, on the other, emphasizes the emotional mood of the various biographical phases.
The multimedia room provides a historical panorama and brings visitors into direct contact with Picasso's creative process. It invites adults, children and elderly people alike to dwell, thereby adding to the experience of an extraordinary exhibition.
Photos: Mark Niedermann and iart. Artworks: © Succession Picasso / 2019, ProLitteris, Zurich
Victor MoserRaphael Gschwind