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'Dali Alive 360' will bring a new immersion experience into a geodesic dome

 Shadows of people stand inside a 360-degree image of Dali's painting, "The Disintegration of the persistence of Memory."
Courtesy of The Dali Museum
People seem to be standing inside a 360-degree image of Dali's painting, "The Disintigration of the Persistence of Memory."

Museum Executive Director Hank Hine said this 360-degree space — where the whole environment is image— could be even more powerful than earlier immersive experiences, such as "Van Gogh Alive," which was on exhibition in 2019.

UPDATE: The exhibition will open on Aug. 3.


The Dali Museum is expecting people from everywhere to flock to its new "Dali Alive 360" exhibition in its custom-made geodesic dome. It will tell the story of Salvador Dali's life in art and his world of reinvention through images, music and words.

A handful of people seem to be standing inside a 360-degree image of Dali's "Hallucinogenic Toreador" painting.
Courtesy of the Dali Museum
A handful of people seem to be standing inside a 360-degree image of Dali's "Hallucinogenic Toreador" painting.

The Dali's Hank Hine said he hopes it gives visitors a sense of what generations of people went through during the course of the 20th century, and Dali, in particular.

"I hope that it gives them a more intense feeling of the triumph of Dali over the adversities of his life…childhood fears, and then the war, [Spanish Civil War], his own sexual identity. And he was lifted by his wife Gala into a sense of security, the poverty of the Depression, all these - then the world wars, facing the atomic bomb," he said.

Hine said he hopes that will help them overcome their own challenges.

The Dali is partnering with Australian company Grande Experiences, which created the earlier exhibition, "Van Gogh Alive."

The "Dali Dome" was engineered by OmniSpace360, which has created immersive environments for six Super Bowls and for Austin City Limits.

It stands 39 feet high and is 60 feet in diameter and built to withstand hurricanes and high winds.

Hine said it can comfortably accommodate about 100 people at a time.

The Dali Museum refused to disclose the cost of the new dome.

But updated WUSF with an email which said, "The proposed expansion project, (which is separate from the dome), is a 60,000 square foot addition to the current building."

Hine said he hopes the Pinellas County Commission will follow through on a Capital Grant with the recommendation from the Tourist Development Council, which said the county should pay up to 50% of the costs, which are estimated to be $68 million dollars.

He said since the money is generated by tourism taxes and The Dali has proven a major draw to the region, with up to 70% of polled visitors to Pinellas County coming from out of the area saying it was the main driver of their visit, it makes sense. Because the mission of the TDC is to bring more visitors to the county.

Hine said the museum is working hard to get the funding for expansion of educational programs, specifically for immersive, digital art experiences.

Among them, a digital, interactive experience with eye-tracking, created with Dartmouth College. It allows you to see how you look at a painting.

"And then if you wish, shows you an alternative way that our curator might suggest looking at the painting. So it's fun to, to learn about the way your eyes move and the way you search for edges and contrasts visually— that it's interesting to see how you can inform the way you look, to be more insightful, more sensitive," he said.

That has been developed, but The Dali Museum doesn't have anywhere to put it, Hine said.

Corrected: July 17, 2023 at 11:52 AM EDT
This story has been corrected to show that the Dali Museum building expansion is estimated to cost $68 million. The geodesic dome was paid for as part of a separate project.
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