Shawn Lawson, Wafaa Bilal: A Bar at the Folies Bergère

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    A Bar at the Folies Bergère


Creation Year:



    Digital Media


Artist Statement:

    This work revisits A Bar at the Folies Bergère by Manet (1881-82) by enabling the viewer to interact with the characters in the painting. When they enter the space, viewers may notice the barmaid moving about and preparing for the evening. Viewers see themselves reflected in the mirror of the painting. The previous patron, seen in the upper right corner, leaves. The barmaid, if not already “alive,” comes to life. She refuses to offer service. If the barmaid is annoyed or tired, she will leave, only to return when everyone else leaves the space

Technical Information:

    The work is comprised of static images, live video, and movie files composited together in real time using OpenGL. Through vision-tracking algorithms, the computer determines the number and location of viewers, then updates the appropriate action for the barmaid.