If you miss Illuminarium, well, it’s your own fault.
On the opening night, the queue reaches the stairs that lead down to Shopville, the underground shopping of Zurich main station. Everybody is craning their necks to catch a glimpse of the lights. On the outside wall of the Swiss National museum in Zurich, somehow much too worldly to fit the exhibition on the Einsiedeln monastery inside, large, pink letters promisingly announce it: Illuminarium.
Illuminarium is a joint project of the Zurich based creative agency Projektil and the makers of the Zurich Weihnachtsdorf, the Christmas village. People who know how to generate moods, how to entice a crowd, how to abduct people into another world for a while. This other world begins in the courtyard of the Landesmuseum, freely accessible to all visitors, a winter wonderland of the 21st century, never corny, not for an instant. Stalls, tables, cotton candy, and lights, lights, and lights. Just like a Christmas market, but so much prettier. But come on in and take a few more steps, and things will be even more colorful. Because here’s Yuki.
And Yuki is not alone. The sound of footsteps announces her, she must be somewhere behind these ancient walls. Even before you get to see her, this conductress, a mythical creature somewhere between pacifist white-furred cyclops and antler-bearing doe goddess, the walls turn into a stage. The long, narrow windows oft he museum transform into piano keys, and the drum set bounces up and down the walls.
The Band of Mythical Creatures performs under the guidance of Yuki, and it’s not vile techno they play, but excerpts from Verdi’s La traviata. Parents stand amazed, kids are even more amazed. And while any spectacle may claim for itself to amaze young and old alike – Illuminarium really does just that. Classical music meets Pokemon, animation and enchanting lights. Here, in the museum courtyard, worlds collide in an incredibly delicate and poetic way, as if they had always been one heart, one soul.