Salvador Dali In VR — Virtual Reality Allows Users To Step Inside The World Of A ‘Madman’

Visitors to the Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg will now be able to explore the interior of a Dali painting, according to NBC.

Users can enter the wacky world of the surrealist artist, who declared that he had a unique ability: he was able to think and live like a crazy person “without actually being mad.”

“You cannot expel me: I am Surrealism!” — Salvador Dali, after being expelled from the surrealist movement in Paris

The new exhibition is called “Disney and Dali: Architects of the Imagination.” Visitors step into what is described as “a dreamy, three dimensional world.”

Organizers say they wanted to tell the story of the relationship between Salvador Dali, the surrealist artist, and Walt Disney, the great American animator and theme-park pioneer.

“You don’t have to melt your own clocks for an IRL experience of a painting by Salvador Dali — all you need is a virtual reality headset.”

Tech Times says the exhibit is a celebration of “the influential synthesis between the artist and the entertainment conglomerate.”

Paintings showcased include several Dali favorites. The word-salad titles of the pieces are very Dali-esque — he almost always gave his works titles that were either completely unfathomable, or almost humorously literal. In the cases where the titles were literal and frank descriptions, they are still bizarre because they faithfully represent the sensational content of Dali’s work (an example of this is “Lobster Telephone.”) Other featured pieces are”Weaning of Furniture Nutrition” and “First Cylindric Chromo-Hologram Portrait of Alice Cooper’s Brain.”

The VR experience will focus on one painting: Dali’s 1935 work “Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s ‘Angelus.”

Users put on the VR headsets and move around inside the painting, navigating the carefully-constructed three-dimensional environment. While Dali’s “Archaeological Reminiscence” work is the main inspiration for the VR world, motifs from other Dali works also appear. VR explorers will encounter familiar Dali-esque things like elephants, birds, ants, as well as Dali’s well-kown”Lobster Telephone” sculpture. Non-Dali related visuals will also appear from time to time. A crescent moon, a stone tunnel and even an image of rocker Alice Cooper have been incorporated into the world (it’s worth noting that Cooper is loosely associated with the artist — Dali featured the rocker in a hologram he created in 1973.)

A haunting soundtrack adds to the experience, making it a fully immersive and surreal one that goes beyond anything else presented in museums today. Visitors to Dali’s world will hear bird cries and nature sounds ringing out in eerie counterpoint to a relaxing, “easy listening” piano motif.

Sam Luchini and Roger Baran, creative directors of the agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, are responsible for the employment of VR. The two were reportedly inspired by the idea of allowing museum-goers to step into the painting that they are staring at.

The exhibit was inspired by Oculus Rift, and came to life after Baran and Luchini discussed the idea with Disney.

Luchini told reporters that Disney recognized the good opportunity.

“They realized this exhibit would be a good opportunity to try and showcase a VR experience. This is particularly true since Dali and Disney partnered together when making the short animated film Destino and individually were always looking to new ways to explore the intersection of innovation and art.”

“Disney And Dali: Architects Of The Imagination” will run until June 12.

“It’s strange, but I’d much rather talk with or be in touch with people who think the opposite of what I think than with those who think the same as I do.”

— Salvador Dali

[Image by Terry Fincher/Getty Images]

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