The Plateau Exhibition in Ghent 2001

  • Ron Holloway


THE PLATEAU EXHIBITION AT THE SCIENCE MUSEUM IN GHENT 2001 Film historians with a tick for the archaeology of the cinema are well advised to pay a visit to the Museum of Science in Ghent to view the exhibition honouring the 200th birthday of Belgian scientist Joseph Plateau. It was Plateau's experiments on optical deception and the persistence of vision in the middle of the 19th century that led to the invention of the anorthoscope (distorted view) and the phenakistiscope (deceitful view), the direct precursors of the first moving picture inventions. The entire range of related optical inventions the stroboscope (whirling view), the thaumatrope (magical turning), and zoetrope (life turning), to name just the key scientific discoveries that led to cinematography were placed on mechanically driven display at the opening of the 28th Flanders International Film Festival in Ghent (8-18 October 2001). Visitors to the Flanders festival were also...