Digitized works of Alfons Mucha on view at unique Prague Castle Exhibition
A new multimedia exhibition has opened up this week at the Riding School of Prague Castle. Covering over 2,000 square metres of space, Alphonse Mucha eMotion combines digitised and 3D animated versions of Czech Art Nuveau master Alfons Mucha’s most famous works, such as the Slav Epic, with the classical music of another famous contemporary - Antonín Dvořák. I spoke to the producer of the exhibition, Richard Fuxa, whose foundation owns the most complete collection of the artist’s posters.
“Alphonse Mucha eMotion, as you can feel from the name, is about emotions, about the visual experience. This is a type of immersive exhibition that is quite common nowadays around the world.
“The aim of the experience is to immerse yourself in these large-format big projections, which you can experience within a full 360 degree circle. This is also possible due to the phenomenal spaces in the Riding School of Prague Castle.
“This is also the first time ever in the world that we took the work of Alfons Mucha and projected it on large screens. We were able to digitize all of his original works and combined them with the dynamics of music and movement as well.”
I read that the accompanying music are compositions from Antonín Dvořák and that Pierce Brosnan read the accompanying narration. Is that true?
“Yes, yes, that’s true. There is special music from Antonín Dvořák supporting the emotion that you feel precisely from these large format moving paintings.
“When the visitors come and begin their tour, Pierce Brosnan’s [voice] welcomes them. They can see a large self-portrait of Alfons Mucha, which speaks to them through the voice of Pierce Brosnan.”
How did you go about digitizing Mucha’s works, because I understand that they are of a very high quality, correct?
“Yes, that’s right. Within our foundation’s portfolio of activities is also taking care of the largest collection of Alfons Mucha’s original works. This was originally owned by the famous Czech tennis player Ivan Lendl and served as the base for the digitization process.
“We took the whole collection and digitized it through a very detailed computer process, including a retouch and the subsequent animation.”
Speaking of the Richard Fuxa Foundation, it has been organising Alfons Mucha exhibitions around the world for years. What got you so interested about the artist in the first place?
“It was kind of a coincidence. Of course Alfons Mucha is a famous name, but I had the chance to meet with Ivan Lendl and discuss bringing such an exhibition to the Czech Republic for the first time.
“We were lucky that back then there was significant interest among the public. It was visited by 180,000 people, which was basically a record in Czech and Czechoslovak history.
“During this process I started to like all of [Mucha’s] work. Seeing the originals thanks to the collection, I fell in love with it.”
A part of the exhibition is also an auction of NFTs of Alfons Mucha’s art. People will also have the opportunity to generate their own Mucha NFT for free. Why did you decide to add this NFTs to your exhibition and why do you think visitors may be interested in this option?
“We wanted to add the NFTs to invite the young generation. Nowadays, NFT is a new phenomenon for the young. They will be able to bring back Alfons Mucha in NFT form back with them.
“There will be three layers of quality in terms of the digital reproduction, which they will be able to buy.”
Is it true that you also plan to move the iMucha exhibition abroad in the future? And, if so, do you already have any plans where?
“Yes. This project can of course travel internationally. Once we have this digitised form, the exhibition can travel around the world.
“We are already talking to some producers in Korea, Italy and in other countries, so we hope that this [Prague exhibition] will serve as a sort of first showcase for them to come, see and discuss the possibility to move it abroad as well.”
The Alphonse Mucha eMotion exhibition runs from June 28 to September 13, 2022. Opening hours are Monday – Thursday from 10am to 7pm and Friday to Sunday from 10am to 9pm.