Large format projection specialists / ETC / Paris were called in to collaborate with students and lecturers from l’ESBAM (Ecole Superieure des Beaux Arts du Mans) to realise a massive public projection of specially created art into a central urban space Le Mans, France.

This was part of the 2006-2007 “Big Picture” project. The event saw 10 students selected by an educational team to work closely with two of France’s best known video and projection artists: Yves Trémorin and Tania Mouraud. They also lent pieces of their own work to be projected for the display evening and judged the student’s efforts. This gave the students’ work huge visibility and profile.

The 20m wide x 18m high projections were beamed onto the façade of the Maine Libre newspaper building via a powerful Christie S20 projector, and the show was programmed using / ETC / Paris’s proprietary OnlyView software. The Maine Libre was chosen because of it’s commanding position near the School, allowing the projected art to be seen clearly from many vantage points around the city center.

The projector was positioned 100m away inside the school building, and tech’d by / ETC/ ’s crew of Eric Dauvin and of Christophe Aubry. The show featured several different artworks and ran for an hour.

Over 130 students ESBAM students and members of the educational team and faculty were present for this special event, joined for the evening of art and appreciation by Le Mans’ Mayor John Claude Boulard plus other dignitaries.

The show was such a success that Boulard now wants to establish a state-funded contemporary arts program for both domestic and international artists that incorporates and encourages monumental projected art.

Christophe Domino, ESBAM’s artistic director states, "For a city to invest in large format projection brings massive visibility and recognition to the work created and carried out within the school. We are also convinced that we can offer students greater opportunities to reach out to wider audiences by displaying their work in this way.”

For / ETC / Paris, the biggest challenge was in programming and presenting a coherent projection show with all the pieces in just a month.

Material was submitted to the / ETC / Paris team in assorted formats including still photographs, video, and numerical pictures and programmed into the OnlyView system and adjusted as necessary to fit the space. OnlyView accepts all types of media including still images, video, text, sound, etc., and these they could output to the Christie with absolutely no degradation in quality.

“It was a delicate task,” explains Patrice Bouqueniaux, / ETC /’s commercial and marketing director. “As we were representing a series of very personal works in a completely different context, so we had to ensure that the ideas came across and were represented well and fairly.”

The “Big Picture” project’s featured student artists included Pauline Abaddie, David Ayoun, Samuel Chène, Mathieu Dufois, and Edouard Hennion. Their work received much critical acclaim in its own right and the unusual presentation was a great hit with everyone from the public to the artists and all those involved in teaching them.

The event was also the first urban projection supported by the City of Le Mans—but it won’t be the last—the success of the inaugural event ensuring there will definitely be future collaborations. "/ ETC / is very keen to work ongoing with School of Beaux Arts and encourage the setting up of works to be viewed in this domain," explains / ETC /’s Patrice Bouqueniaux, adding that this is a great illustration of the breadth of application for monumental projections.