I Can Stand The Rain
From Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s Aquaalta to Random International’s infamous Rain Room, it seems the art world has truly embraced the term “immersive experience."
Taking its name from the annual flood in the Venetian lagoon, Aquaalta is an installation taking place this summer at the Palais de Tokyo, which asks visitors to captain boats through the museum’s galleries, creating a multisensory experience that records and projects visitor interactions in real time inside the pitch-black walls of the exhibition.
Confronting his audience with the eerie interplay of shadow and the sounds and gentle motions of rippling water, Mougenot is keen to unsettle the generic museum experience, commenting “It is good to worry the visitor sometimes, to give him or herself a coded image. People love seeing themselves disappear."
Similarly, Rain Room, an 100 square metre field of falling rain installed at London's Barbican Centre in 2012, aimed to destabilise visitor expectations. Upon entering the field of falling water, visitors were left to trust that a path could be navigated through the gallery without becoming drenched in the process.
Discovering that the thousands of falling droplets responded to their presence and movement, visitors were transported within this experimental artwork onto an unexpected stage, able explore and control the rain falling around them. We wonder if at least one Gene Kelly aficionado brought their tap shoes and umbrella?
“It is good to worry the visitor sometimes, to give him or herself a coded image. People love seeing themselves disappear."