25 February 2006

greenaway at the rijksmuseum

Peter Greenaway and his co-operators plan to create an ambitious project for the year of Rembrandt's four hundred year centenary in 2006. The project has the overall title Nightwatching and will be a feature film, an opera, an exhibition and a re-presentation of the painting of the Nightwatch itself with an immersive presentation of the painting's characters and artifacts from the Rijksmuseum.

The feature film Nightwatching concentrates on the year 1642, and the evidence of a dangerous conspiracy contained in the painting of the Nightwatch that mirrors Amsterdam society at the centre of the Golden Age.

The opera Nightwatching concentrates on domestic, social and symbolic relationships of Rembrandt to his three consorts, Saskia, Geertje and Hendrickje in the ubiquitous matrimonial bed.

The center of all these celebrations and investigational activities is the exhibition in the Rijksmuseum.

Peter Greenaway wants to create a re-presentation of the painting of the Nightwatch called Nightwatching as an act of theatre, treating the event of the painting as a theatrical activity of players, costumes, props, light, sound and dialogue set in a highly technical, innovating and creative installation; a combination of art and technology designed for an attentive audience that will be intrigued by a world of light and moving images and the single frozen moment.

Nightwatching the exhibition is the opening event of the Holland Festival's 59th edition on June 2, 2006.

The exhibition
A poetic combination between theater, moving image and innovating technology. For the exhibition we will use the Philips rooms 11 and 12, the Jan Steen room and the Night Watch room.

In room 11 we plan to stage the Nightwatching installation bringing forward the personal story of all the 31 figures in the painting the Nightwatch. We will create a combination between innovating technology and moving image to display the world of the Nightwatch and the stories behind the people in the painting.

For the installation we will use many screens and various interfaces for the audience, the many screens will be a three dimensional object hanging free in the exhibition space.

Peter Greenaway is a pioneer in combining film, art and technology. In his famous exhibitions he creates new worlds of interactive and moving images to tell stories behind the objects in the exhibition.

One of the other great creative aspects of Greenaway's exhibitions is the use of light - always designed by artist and director of photography Reinier van Brummelen. In the room where the Nightwatch is exposed, we will create a second theatrical installation. The Nightwatch and its surroundings will be put in a theatrical light installation (with many different lighting sequences) and the public will feel and become part of the romantic period of the GOLDEN age.

We will create spaces and emotions by making use of a custom designed lighting system and we will work with state-of-the-art lighting technology, to find possibilities for using light in new ways in the museum environment.
Greenaway's passion for painting and new technology in art, combined with his established international acclaim as an original filmmaker, will make this project a creative and innovating new experience for a large and diverse audience.

Nightwatching the exhibition, June 2 - August 6, 2006, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Full details, including a synopsis of the film here

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