Art and Exhibitions

What is the audio description of an artwork ?

When it comes to giving an account of the impression produced by a work of art, the audio describer endeavours not only to detail the factual elements presented  as faithfully as possible, but also to instil, by the precise choice of the terms that he uses, the tone of his voice and the atmosphere that emanates from the work. They are careful when describing the choices of composition, the use of shadows, the expressions of the possible protagonists or even textures present in the scene, the grain, the possible relief.

Woman in front of a microphone reads a text in a recording studio.

All these elements help to make tangible what is not visible to a visually impaired audience. Because art is, above all, a vector of emotions, sharing and discovery of others.

What are the actions carried out by the VISIO Foundation ?

Pilot Project: AMAZÔNIA, the international exhibition of the famous photographer Sebastião Salgado

The creation of the “Art and Exhibitions” section of the VISIO Foundation’s Cultural Accessibility Division was driven by the encounter with one of the most esteemed and renowned photographers in the world and his wife – Sebastião Salgado and Lelia Wanick Salgado – the latter, the designer and scenographer of the traveling international exhibition Amazônia

Amazônia is the fruit of seven years of work, seven years during which Sebastião Salgado travelled throughout the Brazilian Amazon biome, photographing the forest, the rivers, the mountains, and the natives who live there. This deep universe, one of the few places on the planet where we can feel the immense power of nature, impregnated the eyes of the photographer with magnificent and striking images.

The meeting with this powerful couple is undoubtedly a milestone in the “Exhibitions” section. The challenge was daunting and the opportunity exceptional: to make the photographic art of S.Salgado accessible to visually impaired people while inviting them to think about ecological issues and the place of humans in the present world.

The Amazônia pilot project revolves around two accessibility processes: audio description and tactile transcription.

AMAZÔNIA, the immersive audio-described exhibition in the heart of the Amazon rainforest

This exhibition, which lasts approximately 2h30, is accessible on this site permanently and free of charge.

It consists of a general presentation of Sebastião Salgado and his work, a filmed interview of the artist, a filmed interview of his wife Lelia Wanick Salgado, two testimonials from shaman leaders, and 20 audio-described photos selected along with the artists.

Amazonian Indian man with painted face and a feather headdress.

This large-scale collaborative project brought together with the Foundation and this internationally renowned humanist photographer and his wife, many accessibility professionals specialized in audio description, audiovisual and digital technology.

Amazônia Touch – The tactile case

This timeless case is an invitation to discover the photographic art of S. Salgado through touch. A true book-object of art responsible for restoring the quality of the artist’s works, it was designed as a medium for reading and opening up to the world.

It has also a pedagogical and educational function: to make blind and visually impaired people aware of the current climate and environmental issues, without mentioning that it is also a tool for sensory learning and access to art through tactile reading.

This artistic project was made possible thanks to the support and generosity of the Fondation Alliance Fédérale Crédit Mutuel and the expertise of the contributors involved in the project:

  • Mrs. Hoëlle CORVEST, expert in the construction of tactile images, former development  manager for the inclusive accessibility to the visually impaired public at the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie and at the Palais de la Découverte (Paris, France), coordinator of the book collection « à Voir et à Toucher » published by the Cité des Sciences, and contributor to the audio-tactile editions of the Louvre Museum and “Les Éditions du Patrimoine”.
  • Mr. Christian BESSIGNEUL, Emeritus Professor of Engraving at the Ecole Estienne, designer of many tactile works using embossing technique and high contrast.
  • Les Ateliers CREANOG, directed by Laurent NOGUES, a creation studio and workshop specialized in embossing and hot stamping techniques as well as the production of tactile works.
  • Mrs. Aurélie PALLARD (APA Création), designer specialized in the production of relief and accessible supports for the visually impaired in museums.

The Studio Son MÉDIAPHONIE, directed by Olivier BÉNARD and Alexis ROBIN, an associative production structure created to support the handicap community, specialized in the production and the making of audios thanks to a team formed by sound professionals, both sighted and visually impaired.

Relief on paper of an Amazonian Indian’s face.


BASQUIAT SOUNDTRACKS Philharmonie de Paris – from April 6 to July 30, 2023

The VISIO Foundation partnered with the Philharmonie de Paris for BASQUIAT SOUNDTRACKS, an unprecedented exhibition linking the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat and the role of music in the artist’s inspiration and creations, making it possible for visually impaired people to visit it for free.

A tactile and audio journey designed with the VISIO Foundation

Visually impaired people will be able to discover this exceptional exhibition thanks to a route made up of 4 tactile supports and audio commentaries available on an adapted audio guide. In addition, a booklet in Braille and large print with thermo-inflated images will be available at the exhibition’s reception. An easy-to-read booklet has also been designed, and is accessible online and at exhibition’s reception to help visitors with mental disabilities to discover the show.

Brown skin man wearing a blue hat raises his hands. On the bottom of the image, a white stripe with the tests:

BASQUIAT SOUNDTRACKS is the first exhibition devoted to the role of music in the art of Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988), one of the most fascinating artists of the 20th century. Born in Brooklyn to a Haitian father and a Puerto Rican mother, Basquiat was immersed in the musical effervescence of New York at the turn of the 1980s, period marked by the emergence of new urban forms such as no wave and hip-hop. Powerful and daring, Basquiat’s expressiveness has developed in tune with this soundscape, giving birth to a work that owes both to street art and to Western tradition, questioning aesthetic conventions and revealing a sensibility both critical and poetic. A great music lover, Basquiat is said to have had a collection of more than 3,000 records ranging from classical to rock, including zydeco, soul, reggae, hip-hop, opera, blues and jazz. In his studio, several sound sources could coexist simultaneously…


Tuesday to Thursday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Friday from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

During school holidays in France (zone C):
Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Free for visually impaired people and their companion
Free for children under 16 years old

Full price: €14
€8 for young people aged 16 to 25 years old and people benefiting from social minima
€11 for young people aged 26 to 28 years old

€5 for the person with a disability; same price for their companion

Groups’ reservation requests can be made through:
01 44 84 44 84
Visits for groups with disabilities are limited to 8 participants and 8 companions.
Price: 60€