We mainly think of images in a strict and constrained way, limited by space and volume: the classic picture or “screen”, be it television, computer, cinematographic or a simple projection. All these forms render the viewer passive, both physically and intellectually.
In the 1960s, the filmmaker and photographer Albert Plécy, a friend of the great Jean Lartigue and Robert Doisneau, and founding president of the famous association “Les gens d’Images” came up with the idea of directing his research towards inventing a revolutionary projection process. Studying the techniques of shooting and projection, Plécy aimed to achieve “total vision” as a way of submerging the viewer … So it was no longer the viewer who looked at the image; it was rather the image that looked at the viewer, drawing them in, imposing itself, in awe of the “Image Totale”, persuading him to change his whole outlook.
It all began in 1975, when Albert Plécy finally took over a site of vast abandoned quarries in Les Baux de Provence to create his “CATHEDRALE D’IMAGES” and launch his own audiovisual creation in “Image Totale” two years later.
And so in 1977, after two years of research, development and installation, Plecy’s “Image Totale” was born.
As the spectators walked around they were “integrated into the image”. This total immersion in the works was reinforced by a synchronised musical soundtrack.
Having selected the zones, the angles and the size of the image projections, and having then determined a route for the spectator to be “integrated and immersed” in the “Image Totale”, Plécy replaced the notion of the passive spectator, sitting in a chair and looking at an image on a screen with that of the active spectator, brought into a world of images in which he can move as he pleases, in complete freedom. By choosing the location of dozens of sources of visual and sound projections to project images ranging from 50m2 to 100 m2, or even bigger, on more than 4000m2 of natural screens and playing with the distribution of the structures, edges, angles, walls and surfaces, Albert Plécy created an artistic creation which was totally unique.
Anne Cobb, Manager of the CATHEDRALE D’IMAGES