Louvre Abu Dhabi announced today the launch of its first short film entitled The Pulse of Time, coinciding with its third-year anniversary on 11 November 2020. The 40-minute audio-visual journey, which marks the first short film produced by Louvre Abu Dhabi, brings the story of humanity to life through an immersive journey exploring artworks from the museum’s collection. The film’s storytelling, videography and original music composition takes viewers on a poetic voyage via the 12 chapters of the museum’s galleries, exploring the history of human creativity through a selection of 15 artworks, sharing stories of cultural connections from pre-history to contemporary times.
The Pulse of Time is available in three languages, narrated by international talents including Emirati actor, producer and TV presenter Saoud Al Kaabi in Arabic, known for his role in City of Life (2009); British actor, screenwriter and film director Charles Dance in English, known for playing the role of Tywin Lannister in HBO's Game of Thrones (2011); and French-Swiss actress Irène Jacob in French, known for her role in Three Colours: Red (1994). The film was commissioned and produced by Alexandre Plank, Radio Producer for the French National Radio channel France Culture and two times PRIX ITALIA international competition for radio and TV winner. The script was developed by French author and playwright Stéphane Michaka; original music score by French composer Jonathan Morali (Syd matters); direction and sound design by Prix Italia winner Antoine Richard; and film direction by Mohamed Somji from the Dubai-based creative studio Seeing Things. The short film in all three languages is available to stream for free on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website.
The film animates the galleries and objects on view, awakening the imagination for audiences to experience from anywhere in the worldManuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi
“Following our recent digital collaborations with Soundwalk Collective and Anghami, we are excited to launch Louvre Abu Dhabi’s first short film The Pulse of Time,” said Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi. “Alexandre Plank alongside Stéphane Michaka and Seeing Things, were invited to bring the stories of humanity to life that Louvre Abu Dhabi champions through art. This immersive digital experience encapsulates the current moment as the museum reflects on its third year anniversary. The film animates the galleries and objects on view, awakening the imagination for audiences to experience from anywhere in the world. This marks a new frontier for how original, digital commissions can live side-by-side traditional, physical exhibitions. The films languages and collaborators represent the museum space itself as a crossroads for connection.”
“Inspired by Stéphane Michaka’s text, we aimed to create an experience that would be a musical epic, an immersive and dreamlike journey through the museum’s spaces and works, so that each gallery resonates distinctively in the listeners’ ears,” said Alexandre Plank, Radio Producer for the French National Radio channel France Culture. “Rhythms evolve and instruments reverberate as the listener traverses different times, civilisations, and cultures. At the heart of these instruments, notes, and rhythms are the voices of Charles Dance, Irène Jacob and Saoud Al Kaabi. They make the listener a confidant and witness in discovering historical and universal works, and how each of these works tries, in its own way, to weave an invisible link between people and the world around them.”
The film invites viewers through a poetic narration of the stories of masterpieces from the Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection and loaned works, including the Two-headed Monumental statue from Ain Ghazal, Jordan (6500 BCE) on loan from the Department of Antiquities of Jordan, that allows us today to see how our ancestors saw themselves; the commonalities across cultures to be discovered in artworks from Louvre Abu Dhabi’s collection, such as the Man dressed in a Roman toga, called "The Orator" sculpture from Italy (100-150 CE) and the Bodhisattva, an intercessor between the Buddha and his followers sculpture from Kushan empire Pakistan, Gandhara, Takht-i-Bahi or Sahri-Bahlol (100–300 CE) ; to explore the influence from West to East in the carvings of the Basin inscribed with the name of Bonifilius from Northern Italy (c. 1300), also from the museum’s collection.
Inspired by Stéphane Michaka’s text, we aimed to create an experience that would be a musical epic, an immersive and dreamlike journey through the museum’s spaces and works, so that each gallery resonates distinctively in the listeners’ earsAlexandre Plank, Radio Producer for the French National Radio channel France Culture
At a later stage, Louvre Abu Dhabi will launch an audio tour adaptation of The Pulse of Time for visitors to explore at the museum, via the multimedia guide. The audio tour will be available in six languages, narrated by the same aforementioned artists, in addition to actress Lan Qiu in Mandarin, actress Dinara Droukarova in Russian, and actor Stefan Konarske in German. The tour will lead visitors through the museum using cutting-edge geo-localisation technology that will trigger audio content and music depending on where they are within the galleries, making visitors the master of their journey.
The Pulse of Time adds to Louvre Abu Dhabi’s inspiring digital programmes, which includes the WE ARE NOT ALONE podcast by Soundwalk Collective, anghami’s curated playlists of soundtracks inspired by the museum’s collection, virtual exhibition tours, the highlights from the museum’s online collection, as well as online activities for families and children available on Louvre Abu Dhabi’s website and mobile application.
For more information on The Pulse of Time or Louvre Abu Dhabi’s digital programmes, please visit www.louvreabudhabi.ae.
Louvre Abu Dhabi is open Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am – 6:30 pm; closed on Mondays. Pre-purchased tickets are required to visit the museum. E-tickets can be reserved via the museum’s website.