MAD’s large-scale immersive production of Judith and the Head of Holofernes
by Rose Maramba
Photos: Ayuntamiento de Madrid/Diario de Madrid, Edicion Cibeles (CC BY4.0)
unless stated otherwise
You can’t just go look at paintings. Since you’ve got a choice in this age where the digital interposes between our perception and reality, you can immerse yourself in them. Imagine Gustav Klimt’s Judith and the Head of Holofernes. Feel the pull of her face on you, an intense mix of voluptuousness and perversion you would expect from a femme fatale.
She’s proud – see the slight lifting of her head – at the same time languid and sensual.
And you’re there in her world defying time and space. She bewitches you. Just as she seduced the Assyrian General, Holofernes, who was dispatched by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to trounce Israel. Judith, a biblical Hebrew widow, got him drunk and beheaded him. That was her quest, a higher duty, to thwart Holofernes and save Israel from oppression.
It’s hard to think of her as pious but that’s what she’s supposed to be behind the “sultry fire in her dark glances, cruelty in the lines of her mouth, and nostrils trembling with passion,” as Austro-Hungarian author and critic Felix Salten described her in Klimt’s work in 1903. No one among her numerous suitors could tempt her to renounce her widowhood.
Madrid Artes Digitales (MAD) lets Judith’s world envelop you, a world of gold leaf as Judith 1 was one of the more popular paintings in Klimt’s critically acclaimed Golden Phase. Other worlds created by Gustav Klimt (July 14, 1862 – February 6, 1918), an Austrian Symbolist painter and one of the most prominent members of the Vienna Art Nouveau (Vienna Secession) movement, will enfold you at MAD.
MAD’s first large-scale immersive production is built upon the vibrant works of Klimt. The production consists of immersive projections on 1,200 sq m of immersive digital reality screens, the use of virtual reality glasses, holography, interactive tools, and the latest in sound effects and audiovisual projectors resulting in a spectacular sensation of having stepped into the fantastic world of Klimt’s works. A unique adventure.
Thanks to MAD, the Nave 16 of the Matadero Madrid Center for Contemporary Creation with its large number of virtual reality stations is Spain’s largest center for immersive experiences and Europe’s second. MAD was a joint venture of Spanish companies Layers of Reality and SOM Produce, as well as Stardust from the Netherlands. It cost €3 million just to equip the center with immersivity. New contents will be developed in the next ten years which could probably only be seen at MAD.
MADRID ARTES DIGITALES/MADRID DIGITAL ARTS
Featuring Gustav Klimt
Nave 16–Centro de Experiencias Inmersivas—Nave 16
Matadero Madrid Center for Contemporary Creation
Plaza de Legazpi, 8
DATE: March – September 2022
Monday from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Every 30 minutes)
Discount day (Monday): €9.90
General admission: from €14.90
Seniors: from €12.90
Check rates for groups
MAD website: https://tickets.madridartesdigitales.com/
Nave 16 Matadero Madrid ticket office
MORE INFO: https://madridartesdigitales.com/en/
SOME OF KLINT’s WORKS AS LARGE-SCALE IMMERSIVE PRODUCTIONS AT MAD
Babylonian forces/James Tissot, PD via Wikipedia
Klimt’s Judith I, PD via Wikipedia, cropped
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