OASIS immersion’s latest exhibition showcased several unique presentations that were guaranteed to transport individuals into unforgettable worlds
Exhibited at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, OASIS immersion’s latest show Inspirations sought to inspire its visitors by showcasing the artistic prowess of Quebec. “Inspirations is about hope, optimism and reaching one’s full potential,” explained Denys Lavigne, co-founder and executive creative director of OASIS immersion. “Through a carefully constructed collection of audiovisual experiences, our goal was to connect with our audience in such a way that would trigger something inside, and empower them in taking action on something they feel passionate about.”
Lavigne and his colleagues planned to achieve this goal using the immersive properties of the three rooms located in the OASIS immersion studio. The 105 laser projectors and 119 surround sound speakers enable the OASIS immersion team to create customizable 360-degree projections on the walls and floors in each of the three rooms.
The immersive nature of the exhibition became apparent as soon as one stepped into the first exhibition room, known as the portail. Mellow music interrupted by bird sounds played loudly as colourful shapes merged and shifted across the walls and floors. Seated visitors were given the opportunity to look upon poignant, ever-shifting walls as swirling multicoloured lines ran across their backs. Touching tributes written by loved ones adorned the walls and served as introductions for the exhibition’s main artists.
“We felt [loved ones] were the best ambassadors to relay the backstory of each topic and share the type of authenticity we wanted to provide our audience to set the stage for the exhibit,” Lavigne explained. “Secondly, because in more traditional museum environments you’ll often have exhibit introductions that intellectualize a theme, [or] a topic to a point [where] it creates a disconnection between the art and the visitor; we did not want this to happen, and favoured a more intimate approach that best suited the tone we had chosen for the exhibit.”
Next, visitors could enter a room known as the teleporteur room, where they would be transported across the world. From the depths of the Pacific to the International Space Station, the ground beneath their feet was constantly shifting. Accompanying sounds varying from thrusting spacecraft engines to rocking waves helped to captivate the audience.
After their journey through Earth and space, visitors arrived at the final immersive room, known as the panorama, where the bulk of the exhibition waited. Visitors were treated to several different audiovisual presentations, including a production by YouTuber Émile Roy that highlighted some positive aspects amidst the gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this room, onlookers were also transported across the Pacific Ocean, where they were given the chance to discover unique flora and fauna. Amidst this vast expanse of water lay breathtaking islands with lush forests and bursting volcanoes. Visitors also got the chance to observe the incredible people who call these islands and waters home virtually.
In addition to this, visitors were also treated to an ethereal performance by pianist Alexandra Stréliski. An animated projection of the talented musician walking among a forest of three-dimensional neon shapes could be admired during this presentation.
The panorama room also featured a presentation detailing astronaut David Saint-Jacques’ journey from humble engineer to space pioneer, as well as a presentation that featured a rendition of hygge through dance directed by Vallée Duhamel. In Scandinavian culture, hygge is a way of life that prioritizes enjoying the present and establishing deeper connections with others.
The final presentation of the exhibition was an ode to Quebecois creativity. The spirit of Quebecois culture was a fundamental element in this presentation. “In a way, this project is homage to the creative spirit in Quebec and Montreal, and how it’s been recognized globally,” Lavigne added. “We sometimes take it for granted, but the rich cultural environment in which we live is a privilege that we need to handle with care, and we wanted to play a small role in enriching its outreach.”
Overall, this project was a vibrant experience that granted visitors the opportunity to travel to far-flung spaces and enjoy the richness of Quebecois artistry without ever having to leave the Palais des congrès. It was also a great way to spend a Saturday night for individuals who may have been looking to broaden their horizons.
The Inspirations exhibition was displayed at the Palais des congrès de Montréal.
Photograph courtesy of Denys Lavigne