Gala attendees aside, very few enter Cipriani‘s landmark Italian neo-Renaissance hall, 25 Broadway. Opened as the ticketing office for the transatlantic Cunard Steamship Line, back in 1921, the extraordinary venue’s magic remains—underscored by the Cipriani family’s commitment to cuisine and hospitality. For the month of August, however, the doors to the building open to all (who buy tickets), and guests will find more than 65-foot ceilings and Ezra Winter’s murals. International multimedia studio Moment Factory has turned the space into a dazzling, interactive visual art experience called SuperReal.
On a 45-minute cycle, several pixel-precise projection mapped worlds of imagination and astounding detail give way to one another along the building’s interior. At times, the immersive projections highlight the historic bones; at others, every bit of reality disappears. All of this is emphasized by mirrored floors that have been installed for the run, upon which giant balloons and comfy bean bags rest. The former can be picked up and tossed against the walls, creating an explosion of color.
“Light becomes architecture,” Sakchin Bessette, co-founder and executive creative director at Moment Factory, tells us. “Light is physical, through these very thick beams we project. We scanned the original architecture and now we are adding a layer of reality to it.” He continues that it all began with emotion, in an attempt “to build a new experience. Then the technology comes in and then the story and finally the effects—but we cannot weave those different tools together until they’re grounded in emotion.” Altogether, it does provoke a reaction—and one that’s inspired by the magic of it all, and the respect for its location.
SuperReal runs now through 31 August. Tickets are available online for $24. Children five and under may attend for free.
Images courtesy of SuperReal