Berkeley Film & Media Seminar

Francis Brunel, L’Inde éternelle, Cathédrale d’images

From ‘Books of Light’ to the ‘Total Image’: Publishing Industry, Slide Projection and the Rise of ‘Immersive Exhibitions’ in 1960s-70s France

Thu, Nov 16, 2023, 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Nestrick Room, 142 Dwinelle

OIivier Lugon, University of Lausanne

The talk will explore the history of the recent “immersive exhibitions” based on projected digital reproductions of works by famous modern painters. It will focus on one of the leading operators in the field, the “Atelier des Lumières”, founded in Paris in 2018, but actually dating back to the “Cathédrale d’images”, launched in 1977 by Gens d’images, an association of graphic arts professionals. The emergence of the “Cathédrale d’images” will be reinscribed in the longer history of the publishing industry’s embrace of audiovisual media and of the early expansion of graphic arts from paper to screen through “filmstrips”, “books of light” and “multivision” shows. Through this shift, the boundaries between the modalities of publication, exhibition and audiovisual spectacle began to blur, and new forms of spectatorship started to be discussed between individual and mass communication, between “participation” and “immersion”.

Co-sponsored by the Department of French.

Olivier Lugon is a Swiss historian of photography, professor at the University of Lausanne. His recent research has mostly focused on the history of the display of photography, exhibition design, slide projection and graphic design. With Christian Joschke, he is co-editor of the journal Transbordeur: photographie, histoire, société.

Image caption: Francis Brunel, L’Inde éternelle, Cathédrale d’images, Baux-de-Provence, 1978 (Archives Gens d’images, Musée Nicéphore Niépce, Chalon-sur-Saône)