Facing Budget Cuts, Immersive Van Gogh Replaced With Fireplace for Your Home: Birchwood Edition

September 14, 2021

OLD TOWN — Due to decreasing turnout, the Immersive Van Gogh exhibit executive team has made the decision to discontinue its namesake installation and instead reprogram the exhibit to display a 90,000,000 pixel upscaled YouTube video titled HD Crackling Birchwood Fireplace 6 Hours - from Fireplace For Your Home.

“People have kind of had it with viewing abstract visions from a tortured artist. It’s been that kind of year,” said Van Gogh program manager Mitch Albright, 44, as he ran now-outdated laminated flyers for the Van Gogh exhibit through an industrial paper shredder in his office. “An unmoving shot of a fireplace seems to be more in line with what Chicagoans can handle right now emotionally speaking.”

Initial reactions to the new installation have been mixed, with some visitors decrying the experience as not-quite immersive.

“The intermittent ads really detracted from the whole thing,” said attendee Mary Powers, 23. “I was just getting in the zone when we got hit with a full three minute trailer for the new Matrix film, which looks like it rips by the way.”

Installation organizers have been scrambling to improve the immersiveness as a result.

“We started pumping in some actual smoke as part of the experience,” said Albright. “Though some people have had some issues with ‘asthma’ or whatever made up disease the kids have nowadays.”

When we asked Albright why the smoke in the installation didn’t smell anything like Birchwood, he became defensive and started doing DMX-style growling and barking at this Chicago Genius reporter until we left his office.

At press time Mitch Albright was seen pushing a wheelbarrow filled with shredded laminated Van Gogh Exhibit flyers coated with lighter fluid behind the projection screens.

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