The partnership between the AGO and Panasonic has provided the Gallery with display solutions that expand what is artistically possible, while introducing Panasonic to a living, changing, exhibition space that continuously demonstrates the versatility of its projection and display technology.
The Art Gallery of Ontario is dedicated to exhibiting the very best in contemporary art from around the world. For this purpose, it is essential that the Gallery is equipped with the most up to date multimedia and video tools.
After a review of the AGO’s needs, Panasonic and AGO created several high-quality audio visual solutions including the PT-DZ21K and PT-RZ670 projectors. This suite of projectors and display screens offered the right capabilities for the AGO including: seamless viewing regardless of light levels, rear projection features to create an immersive atmosphere, short-throw projection to display the largescale images despite space restraints, and easy installation without breaking down walls or creating visual clutter on the ceilings.
able to stage video and multimedia exhibits more effectively and with greater impact. Technical limitations have diminished, allowing curators to find new potential in the gallery’s space and give artists confidence that their work will be seen in the highest fidelity possible.
Celebrated internationally for his playful, poetic and often biting social commentaries, Francis Alÿs’s 2016 solo exhibition A Story of Negotiation, opened at the AGO on Dec. 8, 2016. The AGO was the exhibition’s only Canadian stop on its multi-city tour. Taking over the entire fifth floor of the AGO’s contemporary tower, the exhibition was organized around three large-scale video works.
In its review of the exhibition, published on Dec. 9, 2016 the Globe and Mail praised the in-gallery experience, calling it a “spectacle of both physical and emotional power.” The films, it went on to say, were “screened with crystalline immediacy thanks to a Panasonic projector usually reserved for venues as large as concerts or amusement parks and shown on a big screen in a vast gallery.”
With the opportunity to host Alÿs’ solo exhibition, A Story of Negotiation, the Gallery knew its existing audio-visual technology wouldn’t do his works justice. The Gallery, one of the most distinguished art museums in North America, turned to Panasonic for expertise and state-of-the-art projection and display equipment. “There’s been a huge leap in high-definition video,” said AGO Media Technician Patric Colosimo. “Working with this equipment made the installation of the exhibition at the AGO go much more smoothly.”
For one of the exhibit’s main pieces, a presentation of the film REEL-UNREEL (2011), the immersive projection transported visitors to the streets of Kabul where Alÿs filmed children playing with film reels. The film was projected using a PT-DZ21 Panasonic large-venue projector, normally used for big concerts or amusement parks.
The exhibit at the AGO “raised the bar in terms of presentation of this show at museums around the world,” said artist Francis Alÿs. “It was like I was seeing my work for the first time, through new eyes.”
The AGO’s partnership with Panasonic has empowered the Gallery to do far more with its exhibition space. “When we were looking at expanding our projection equipment, we found that Panasonic had the widest range of professional and commercial grade projectors and displays, and we were looking for a provider that could cover all our needs,” said Media Technician Patric Colosimo, adding that “as an early innovator in laser projection Panasonic is the most stable platform for laser based video projection.”
In combination with its easy and free 360-degree installation possibility, Panasonic’s projector and display technology equipped the Gallery with multimedia tools that could be adapted to showcase any artist’s work.
As an AGO partner, Panasonic has been able to advise the museum on how to utilize technology to make the best use of its space. “One of our Panasonic projectors is projecting a floor-to-ceiling piece using one of their state of the art lenses, that is used for ultra-short projection,” said Colosimo. “We needed a projector that was very close to the wall, so its placement didn’t interrupt the viewing of other artwork. Panasonic’s ultra-short throw lens was the perfect solution for this and covered all our needs. For Alÿs’ exhibition, Panasonic also helped the AGO make the most of its space by recommending thin bezel commercial displays for his films in addition to projection.
“We achieved projections in daylight conditions – through displays and through back-lit projections – and it was just so innovative from a gallery point of view. You did not have the feeling of going from a dark room, to a dark room, to a dark room,” said Colosimo. “Francis was hugely pleased because we were able to give a look of a projection without having a projection method.”
“Panasonic’s support inaugurates a fleet of equipment required to support contemporary art projects as well as the interpretation that is part of all of our exhibitions,” said AGO Chief of Exhibitions and Collection, Christy Thompson, who hopes to continue to build the AGO’s toolbox of Panasonic solutions.
By expanding what is possible, the Gallery hopes to see artists expand their horizons. “Having this technology at your disposal is like a new canvas and paintbrush for an artist,” said AGO Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO, Stephan Jost.