From December 12 to 15, the Goya Facade of the Prado Museum in Madrid will be turned into an immense canvas on which almost a hundred of the Museum's works of art will be projected, accompanied by light effects and live music.
ACCIONA, the company in charge of designing and executing the show, will use mapping, laser and special effects technology to achieve an immersive three-dimensional projection that will include a synchronized soundtrack, composed specifically for the event.
This new technology makes it possible to project images onto actual surfaces — the façade of the museum, in this case — while also using them as a volumetric base to create optical illusions and special effects.
Each show lasts about 30 minutes and is scheduled at 20:30 and 22:00 over the four-day period. The production will take attendees on a visual journey through gallery's art collections, passing through classical to contemporary arts.
The spectacle will be divided into two parts: one involving visual effects created by Daniel Canogar and another designed by ACCIONA with video mapping and music.
The paintings chosen for the video mapping offer a broad overview of the range and quality of the Museum's art collection, presenting the main painters though not their most popular pieces but, rather, less well-known works that are vital for understanding the development of painting and of society
The lighting and mise en scène, artistically directed by XLR Estudio, are articulated around large axes, both thematic (allegories, flowers, dramatic visions, mythology, religious iconography, portraits of women, landscapes, etc.) and stylistic (Mannerism, Gothic, Romanticism, Impressionism, etc.), in a sequence designed to trigger an emotional response in the viewer rather than an understanding of the images on an intellectual level.
An essential part of the show is the soundtrack, composed especially for the event by Olivier Arson, winner of the 2019 Goya Award for Best Original Soundtrack for the movie The Realm.
The musical score, performed live by an electronic musician, a string quartet and three flautists under a conductor, will be synchronized with the projections using sequencing software, so that the images will seem to “vibrate and dance” to the music.
The soundtrack will merge both classical and modern themes, in keeping with the spirit of the Prado Museum, which, in recent years, has adopted a policy of counterposing displays of older and newer pieces in its exhibitions.
In line with the commitment to sustainability of both ACCIONA and the Prado Museum, the event will be CO2-neutral; i.e., pollutant emissions will be minimized and those that cannot be avoided will be offset by clean energy projects.
This initiative is part of a sponsorship agreement between ACCIONA and the Prado Museum to publicize the bicentenary of the museum's foundation. ACCIONA and the Prado have long worked together in projects that link art and innovation. An example of this collaboration was the The Spirit of Painting exhibition (2017) by Cai Guo-Qiang, the first contemporary artist to create work in situ for exhibition at the Prado.
ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño, a subsidiary of ACCIONA that specializes in museums and large-scale events, is in charge of the design and execution of this mapping technique. Projects such as this are part of what ACCIONA Producciones y Diseño calls “Cultural Engineering”, a concept consisting of using cutting-edge visual and sensory technology to convey the history, traditions and values of a city or location so as to enhance its appeal for tourists.