Grace Alexandrowski | 2024 I.S. Symposium

Name: Grace Alexandrowski
Title: Immersive Spectacles: Exploring French Cultural Landscapes of Immersion
Majors: Art History; French and Francophone Studies
Minor: Studio Art

This Independent Study examines the evolution and significance of immersive art installations and the spectacle they evoke, spanning 800 years of art history in predominantly French contexts. Through a multidisciplinary approach encompassing social theory, phenomenological analysis, cultural histories, and critical engagement with Guy Debord’s concept of the spectacle, the study investigates how immersive art shapes perceptions, challenges norms, and inspires change. The project includes case studies of the Basilica of Saint-Denis, the Château de Versailles, and significant works by Claude Monet, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Dubuffet, Yayoi Kusama, as well as installations from the Atelier des Lumières and the Louis Vuitton x Yayoi Kusama collaborations. These examples highlight the evolution of power structures surrounding artistic consumption, from the influence of the Church and State to the individual artist. Furthermore, this project considers the commercialization of art and spectacle in contemporary settings, revealing a tendency to prioritize surface-level entertainment over more complex artistic meanings. Despite these shifts in who has access to create and control immersive installations, they remain powerful tools for engaging audiences and provoking thought on art, space, and society at large. By exploring these immersive installations and their impact on viewers, this project contributes to ongoing dialogues surrounding the capacity of immersive art to inspire change and challenge perceptions.

Posted in Symposium 2024 on May 2, 2024.