The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) selected Christie projectors for their presentation of the exhibition Isaac Julien: Ten Thousand Waves, a moving image installation by the renowned artist and filmmaker on view in the Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium from November 25, 2013 through February 17, 2014. Working with MoMA, Christie partner Michael Andrews Audio Visual Services (MAAVS) selected eight Christie WU14K-M WUXGA DLP projectors and one Christie HD14K-M 1080 HD DLP projector to meet the needs of the exhibition and realize the vision of the artist.
Ten Thousand Waves premiered at the 2010 Sydney Biennial, and has been exhibited internationally to wide acclaim. The original inspiration for the 50-minute presentation was the Morecambe Bay tragedy of 2004, in which 23 Chinese cockle pickers drowned on a flooded sandbank off the coast of northwest England. The Christie projectors will display the installation’s beautifully crafted visuals, which incorporate images of archival footage recorded by a police helicopter the night of the tragedy, accompanied by audio recordings of distress calls from the scene. With this tragedy at the center of the work, Julien poetically interweaves images of contemporary Chinese culture with its ancient myths.
The technology used to present Ten Thousand Waves is essential to its exhibition at MoMA. A total of nine Christie projectors will display the work onto nine doubled-sided screens ranging in sizes from 16 feet wide up to 23 feet wide, all hung at multiple levels and locations throughout the atrium. The exhibition is intended to be viewed not only from ground level, but also from the upper floors, which themselves are at various heights and angles to the display and look down on the space. These multiple perspectives encourage audiences to move through, and interact with, the sights and sounds of the installation from their personal points of view.
Eight Christie WU14K-M projectors light up eight screens of various sizes, while one Christie HD14K-M projector lights up the ninth, and largest, screen. The intricacy of these arrangements required the use of audio-visual display technology that can deliver powerful and bright images, as well as crisp and clear sound, to create a large-scale immersive experience. The projectors also had to be exceptionally bright to overcome the challenges of the high ambient light environment.
According to Michael Wright, President of Michael Andrews Audio Visual Services, it was paramount that the display technology chosen run smoothly and bring all aspects of the installation together to achieve its full visual impact. The Marron Atrium is an expansive, high ceilinged, public space where the museum has less control of ambient light and sound, requiring a technological solution that could overcome these challenges.
“We choose Christie high performance projectors because they offer reliability and flexibility, and always deliver what our customers demand in their visual displays,” said Wright. “The installation required design flexibility, so that they could be arranged to fit the artist’s needs within the atrium space. Since the moving images are projected from challenging angles, the projectors also needed to match the images and colors, making the Christie M Series a fit for this project. Working on such a large scale and with so many projectors, the museum used the new Christie InControl App to individually control and calibrate every aspect of each projector wirelessly.”
“At Christie, we proudly support the works of innovative artists such as Isaac Julien, who are experimenting with unique ways to tell their stories to the world,” said Mike Garrido, senior product manager, Business Products, Christie. “Ten Thousand Waves is a great example of how advanced visual display technology can help facilitate an artist’s creative vision, and we are thrilled to provide Christie projectors for this exciting project at MoMA.”
Part of the Christie M-Series 3-chip DLP projector platform, the Christie WU14K-M and Christie HD14K-M offer high resolution (1920 x 1200 WUXGA and 1920 x 1080 HD respectively), and feature embedded warping, blending, and color matching capabilities for ultimate design flexibility. Drawing a maximum power of 1500W with two lamps instead of four, they are also efficient, with low operating costs.