Skip to content Skip to footer

Interview with Agnès Abastado, EPMO – Musée d’Orsay et de l’Orangerie

(Head of Digital Development, Établissement Public des Musées d'Orsay et de l'Orangerie - Valéry Giscard d'Estaing)
The latest Numix Lab (between Brussels and Amsterdam, from December 4 to 8, 2023) was an opportunity to examine the practices related to digital art and the venues that host them. A very active 5-day immersion where Unframed Collection was able to set down its camera and interview those who connect XR creation with the general public.

First guest: Agnès Abastado, Head of Digital Development, Musée d’Orsay and Musée de l’Orangerie – Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, at a time of great, not-so-virtual excitement: the end of the Van Gogh exhibition and its VR chapter (Van Gogh’s Palette by Agnès Molia and Gordon), and the next-to-be Excurio immersive expedition around the 150th anniversary of the Impressionist movement.

Have you produced and presented any XR experiences in your establishments?

Agnès Abastado – Over the years, we’ve developed several immersive projects, starting with an experience around Claude Monet’s Water Lilies at the Musée de l’Orangerie. A ten-minute VR project, “Claude Monet – The Water lilies obsession” by Nicolas Thépot, to better understand the relationship between the artist and Georges Clemenceau, on an emblematic work of the museum.

Over the past few months, at the entrance to the “Van Gogh in Auvers-sur-Oise, the last months” exhibition, we’ve hosted a VR experience (with La Palette) that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the creation of this extraordinary artist. A palette used by Van Gogh himself, which becomes a landscape and a truly interactive journey to the heart of his art, thanks to hand-tracking technology. Viewers interact directly with their environment, in several sequences.

Agnès AbastadoFinally, starting March 2024, we’re hosting a major exhibition to celebrate 150 years of the Impressionist movement, their practice and influence. We’ll be hosting a major immersive experience looking back at the first exhibition in 1874 at the Nadar studio, as well as the artists’ relationship with these early salons. An immersive expedition designed by Excurio (Emissive) will enable us to actually meet the artists.

How is the museum supporting the production and distribution of these VR experiences?

Agnès Abastado It should be pointed out that we are co-producers of these experiments, with the aim of providing the best possible support for the artistic aspect of our own expertise. The museum provides a real scientific addition, which guarantees the quality of the final result. It’s very important to make sure that the narrative benefits from our knowledge – even if we like to see it as a bit of fiction for the spectators. Of course, it all has to be fun and accessible to the general public. These new digital experiences are a testament to the state of the art today.

The XR experiences we support are then disseminated internationally, and that’s important for us. The museum’s outreach is vital, and the production of interactive content can bring audiences from shopping malls and VR arcades into our worlds. Bringing our collections and works into these environments is one of our missions.

How do you see the museum of the future?

Agnès Abastado There isn’t necessarily one museum of the future, but as many ideas as there are places. Nevertheless, inclusion and sociability are strong trends that will continue over time. Our museums, in the midst of complex times, are places where we can meet up, recharge our batteries and enjoy collective experiences. And to discover our world through the works of art on display.


© Unframed Collection – 2023

Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Be the first to know the latest updates

Whoops, you're not connected to Mailchimp. You need to enter a valid Mailchimp API key.