JR Converts Venice Train Carriage Into a Treasure Hunt Installation

Marking the first artist-designed carriage aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.

Art
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Amid the 2024 Venice Art Biennale, JR has converted the interiors of Sleeping Car 3553 within Belmond’s Venice Simplon-Orient-Express into a moving art installation titled L’Observatoire. This project turns the train into a captivating treasure hunt, with hidden compartments and cryptic messages intricately embedded in the marquetry.

Curated by JR, L’Observatoire transforms a sleeper carriage within the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express into a luxurious haven. Featuring a double bed, ensuite bathroom, wardrobe, reclining daybed, lounge area, and a library stocked with books from French publisher Gallimard, along with a hidden tea room complete with a fireplace, every detail is meticulously crafted.

As guests relax, the rounded windows and skylight ceiling allow glimpses of Europe’s landscapes as the Orient Express journeys. Scheduled to commence in 2025, this unique collaboration marks the first artist-designed carriage aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, offering the most spacious accommodation on the train as reported by designboom.

Visitors at the Biennale can experience JR’s work by peering through the eye-shaped portholes in the carriage windows between April 17 and 19 at Fondamenta San Giovanni (Hotel Cipriani) from 14:00 to 17:00, and between April 20 and 22 at the Riva dei Sette Martiti from 10:00 to 18:00.

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