Bordeaux, with its rich history and dynamism, is a city with a rich heritage, with numerous sites and monuments, both historic and modern, and with a traditional and typical way of life. Are you afraid of missing out on the must-see during your stay in Bordeaux? Don’t worry, here is a selection of the must-sees of Bordeaux and its heritage.

THE POOLS OF LIGHT After having exploded the counters by counting more than 477,000 visitors to the Klimt exhibition, the Bassins de Lumières are preparing to raise the curtain on Monet, Renoir, Chagall, Journeys in the Mediterranean. Initially scheduled to open on 5 February, the most eagerly awaited exhibition of the year opens on 19 June. Let’s take a look at an extraordinary cultural event.

The Pools of light

Les Bassins de Lumières – The largest digital art centre in the world
Five times larger than the Atelier des Lumières in Paris, the Base sous-marine, a sombre vestige of the Second World War, has been shining in the Port de la Lune since last June. With four 110m long basins, 12,000m² of projection surface and 90 video projectors, the Bassins de Lumières are recognised as the largest digital art centre in the world. Interactive, monumental and immersive, the project set up by Culture Espace is a success that owes nothing to chance. And for good reason: after 19 months of work, the concrete walls and basins now reflect the most beautiful works of art history and contemporary creation in an unreal atmosphere that makes some jaws drop. The world’s masterpieces come out of the frame of their painting to become a 12m high and 22m wide experiential projection coupled with a high quality sound experience. Here, you walk on colours, observe shapes in the reflection of water and orient yourself between light and shadow to the sound of commentaries. Despite the unprecedented context, Klimt broke all records by attracting almost 500,000 visitors.

The Pools of light

Pictorial modernity born in contact with the Mediterranean
In seven sequences, the new exhibition takes us from one artistic movement to another, immersing us in the masterpieces of some twenty artists. An immersive journey, we take the train to modernity, just as Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Matisse, Signac, Derain, Vlaminck, Dufy and Chagall took the train to the Mediterranean from 1880. The latter, then accessible thanks to the new Paris-Lyon-Marseille line, seduced artists who discovered a new chromatic palette and developed a new conception of light and colour at high speed. From Collioure to Saint-Tropez, the Mediterranean coastline was the new playground for painters. From Impressionism with Monet and Renoir to Pointillism with Signac and Cross, via Fauvism with Camoin, Derain, Vlaminck, Marquet, not forgetting Matisse, our itinerary in the heart of the basins retraces their fascination for the Mediterranean. From Bonnard to Dufy, we finally arrive at one of the greatest colourists of modern art: Chagall.

Lefevre Fine Art Ltd, London © Bridgeman Images

More than 500 works in a 12,000m² floor-to-ceiling space
Although these famous paintings are now scattered around the world, the Bassins de Lumières brings them together for a few months. By taking over the floors, the reflections of the water and the walls, the brilliant and powerful colours submerge the space, reflecting the sensitivity of the artists through the thousand variations of this Mediterranean. They blend in with the monumental architecture of the Base sous-marine. The works come to life and are composed line by line, giving the illusion of a shimmering sea and a glittering sun. In the tank, you will find the paintings in their entirety, with their names and the museum in which they are exhibited.

The short programme “Yves Klein, l’infini bleu
And to accompany the Impressionists, the short format will highlight the work of Yves Klein through a ten-minute creation. An admirer of the Mediterranean, colour takes on a spiritual and metaphysical dimension for him. We find it in his famous IKB (International Klein Blue). The imprint of the body is drawn in his Anthropometries and nature in his Cosmogonies and Planetary Reliefs to the rising and vibrating sound of Vivaldi or the electronic rhythms of Thylacine.

The work of Yves Klein

We will also discover “EVERYTHING” EVERYTHING, an immersive audiovisual experience divided into three parts. Dedicated to contemporary artists of immersive art, the Cube, an 8-metre high space of 220 m², invites visitors to observe the elements around them as they are, to question their existence and to envisage new possibilities.

An artistic and civic cluster, the submarine base has creativity in spades, as demonstrated by the concert programme of Arnaud Rebotini, Traumer and Djedjotronic at the end of January and the project for a hanging vegetable garden. In the centre of the basins, a space dedicated to the history of the base plunges us into the archives of this immense naval vestige from its construction to its reconversion, thanks in particular to contemporary films and a spectacular projection of a German submarine. Onwards!

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