If you are close to Great Portland Street tube in London, you could pop across the road to One Marylebone, a former church, and look at Intel's Remastered art exhibition. According to the blurb: "With its curatorial and creative partner Jotta, Intel re-tells the stories of some of the most famous pieces of art from history, using technology to re-interpret their meaning for a contemporary audience."
The original art is very famous indeed: Venus de Milo, Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Raphael’s School of Athens, Vermeer’s The Astronomer, JMW Turner’s Rain, Steam and Speed, Edgar Degas’ Dancer with a Bouquet of Flowers, Edouard Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergere, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, Pablo Picasso’s Guernica, and so on. But based on my quick trip round on the opening night, I'll be amazed if you can spot many of the originals just by looking at what's on show. These are nothing like the mashups we've come to know and (mostly) love, like the Mona Lisa redone in coffee cups or slices of toast. This is a contemporary art show.
How much of the art stands up on its own is a tricky question for those of us who are more familiar with Intel's chip manufacturing, but there are some pieces with some popular appeal. Like many others, I particularly enjoyed Eric Schockmel's colourful, geometric 3-minute computer-generated video of a sort of train crossing a sort of desert, though it reminded me more of Dune than of Turner’s atmospherically fuzzy landscape.
Vanessa Harden's School of Time, on the upper floor, is also quite absorbing. It's made up of shallow wooden boxes stuck to the wall and cross-linked using coloured wool. Its subjects are Time magazine's Men of the Year for the past decade. However, I'd never have guessed which masterpiece it referenced and had to look it up: Raphael's School of Athens. Heretically, I thought the fold-out guide to the piece, School of Time, was actually more interesting than what's on the wall, and better put together.
The thing is, even if you don't like Raphael, and don't understand the references in his work, his paintings show fantastic craftsmanship and real joy in the use of colour, composition and light. That's partly why Raphael's paintings, and similar masterpieces, have survived 500 years. I suspect most of the remastered versions are unlikely to be remembered after five months. Or at least, not as fondly.
But if you want to make your own mind up -- always the best idea -- you don't have much time. The exhibition only runs until 3pm on March 13.
Websites: Remastered and Jotta