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Inside the Dali Museum’s new ‘experience’ dome

Bill DeYoung



An immersive geodesic dome is the first element of the Dali Museum's $68 million expansion project. Museum officials received $25.16 million in bed tax funding in August. Photo by Bill DeYoung.

Dali Alive 360. Image: Dali Museum.

UPDATE: The opening date for Dali Alive 360 has been postponed. A new date is expected to be announced soon.

It’s unlikely that what happens in the Dome will stay in the Dome, because people are going to be talking about St. Petersburg’s newest immersive art experience.

The newly-risen geodesic structure on the east side of the Dali Museum is home to Dali Alive 360, a 40-minute, interpretive video/audio tour of Salvador Dali’s works, from early days to later in his life.

The structure, rising 43 feet above the ground, and stretching 60 feet across, is made of a four-ton layer of vinyl over a steel skeleton, with pilings driven deep underground should a hurricane blow through and attempt to uproot it (can’t happen, say the designers).

Much like the recent global sensation Van Gogh Alive, the Dali show projects images from floor to ceiling. They move, they morph, they expand, they shrink, they interact, all to surround-sound audio.

Dali Alive 360. Image: Dali Museum.

The artwork images came from The Dali’s own collection, and from the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres, Spain.

Both the Van Gogh and Dali immersive productions were created by the Australian company Grande Experiences; Dali Alive, which opened in Colorado last October, was co-curated by Dali Museum administrators.

Dali Alive 360. Image: Dali Museum.

The new St. Petersburg structure – the “Dali Dome” – features a unique adaptation of the Dali Alive show, created for the 360-degree experience by Omnispace360.

“This dome I think rhymes completely with Dali’s own activities, and his interest as an artist, in exploring new media,” the museum’s executive director Hank Hine said during a preview Thursday morning.

“The embrace of technology is part of our DNA, because we get that from Dali,” he said. “Would he like this dome? You bet he would. That’s why he painted so accurately – he wanted to create an environment that seemed real. That could be so encompassing and so realistic that you would then believe the slight deceptions that were products of his imagination.”

Although an unexpected electrical outage prevented the media from experiencing Dali Alive 360 Thursday, Hine said his 12-year-old son had seen the show, and pronounced it “Awesome!”

Timed tickets for Dalí Alive 360 are required ($15 as an add-on to the $29 gallery admission ticket) and can be purchased on the museum website.

Dali Museum executive director Hank Hine. Photo by Bill DeYoung.





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    Roger Black

    July 13, 2023at3:41 pm

    Great, but I hope this a temporary structure, since it, to quote King Charles talking about The Tate, looks like a carbuncle on the face of an old friend.

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