Palais des Beaux Arts
Video Mapping Festival
Berlin-based artist Robert Seidel created the unique projection artwork called MUE for the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille, whose architecture the work over-paints and dissolves. The museum was established in 1809 by order of Napoleon I and holds one of the largest art collections in France, including relief maps, altar triptychs, marble busts, woodcuts and drawings, as well as paintings ranging from the Middle Ages to Tachism and the contemporary.
The collection offered Seidel a wide palette of inspiration. In complex processes he fused analogue and digital techniques into large-scale "moving paintings". These gestural hybrids are purely abstract and work to extend the Belle Époque architecture of the museum’s atrium (23 × 16 × 34 meters), built in 1892. The energetic soundscape by composer Nikolai von Sallwitz emphasizes the acoustic properties of the architecture with minimal sound events echoing throughout the building.
The French word “mue” refers in zoology primarily to the skin shed by certain animals or more generally to this process and period of moulting, but it can also refer to the human vocal change that occurs during puberty. These varied parts and procedures for transformation seemed apt for reflecting on the multi-layered historical sediments of the museum. Presented at the first Video Mapping Festival in Lille, the three-channel projection artwork represents an additional ephemeral layer to the extensive history of the Palais des Beaux-Arts.