LoosenArt Mag / Gallery

Windows into The Virtual

Posted on April 18 2021

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Author S Colombo
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Windows into The Virtual │ 5 February - 4 March 2021
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Nowadays, the word “virtual” is something that tickles us, reminding us of a different world. A world that, in a wide sense, deals with a fictive reproduction of reality. Its origin, though, dates back to centuries, to the Renaissance, when the artists developed a strong interest for perspective and for the third dimension.
What is perspective, then, other than a rip open onto an artificial space?
It is a theatrical backdrop depicting a square and some representative buildings. It is a still life where fruits and game seem to go over that subtle threshold between the canvas and our eyes. And much more than this.

The human being, which is naturally pushed to go beyond its limits, needs to move forward. To go over. (Hi)sto(r)ically. Seamlessly. Therefore, the ‘simple’ perspective gives way to a sophisticated trompe l’oeil effect, a painting technique deceiving the eye through triumphal illusions where we sink and get lost into.
Then, the modern technology continues its path, spreading its wings and reaching the photography first and, shortly thereafter, the personal computer. At this point, virtuality becomes an ‘active’ dimension where we could potentially re-live a life that doesn’t belong to us. Or rather, it belongs to our ‘experiential afterlife’.
From this moment on, thanks to all the possibilities the augmented reality brings with it, virtuality oversteps our imagination, going towards unconceivable places. Illusion expands its spectrum of action involving all of our senses and letting the experience become immersive. The happening is interiorised, engulfed, allowing two separate entities (you and I) to merge into one being (us).
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Robin Haithcoat, Two Face Baby, 2019 │ Buy it
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This is exactly the premise the group exhibition “Windows into the Virtual” starts from. Arranged at Spazio Millepiani in Rome and open from February 5 to March 4, 2021, the show presents digital works, pictures and videos reflecting on the virtual dimension according to various perspectives.
And it doesn’t matter if they are purposes or means, mere instruments or main subjects of the artwork: the windows overlooking this great illusion are big, wide, infinite. Like the possibilities the artists have access to. And, looking at their pictures, it seems they are aware of that, as their pieces can be considered as a pendulum oscillating from plausibility to fantasy. It is a vibrant colour for some, and a pastel palette for others.

There is no univocal interpretation, nor a single way to represent virtuality. For some it is the key to the impossible, to the unconceivable, giving birth to re-compositions of new (human?) beings - maybe a prefiguration of the foreseeable future?
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Elena Beregatnova, Within The Virtual Reality, 2020
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For some others it overlaps and combines parallel dimensions, composing a limitless ‘visual crasis’. The sea and the earth tend to balance, while reality and fantasy collide: everything seems so familiar, and yet so far...

Differently, other works are more explicit. They don’t speak in metaphors, but shows technology as a recurrent visual refrain. The world’s maps are used as an escape route from an unsatisfying life one got stuck in. The AR headset becomes the only possible companion for people.

This visual variation mirrors a versatile emotional variety, oscillating from happiness to sadness, from melancholy to wonder. The result is a swing of details dragging the visitor into highs and lows, lights and shadows, blank and filled spaces.
Overall, the exhibition can be considered as a distorted reflection of the world we live in. Sometimes it shows our lives, some others goes into the unreal. The nonexistent, the paradoxical. The virtual.

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Coline Sénac, Jacques-Cartier Park, 2020 │ Buy it
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Anastasiia Zapselska, Timeshift, 2020
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Dmitriy Eremeev, The Screens Pt.2, 2020 │ Buy it
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Andrea Birnbaum, Hidden, 2018 │ Buy it
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Rebecka Kann, Wormhole - Untitled #2, 2020 │ Buy it
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Rebecka Kann, Wormhole - Untitled #1, 2020 │ Buy it
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Giuseppe Francavilla, Caracalla 3D, 2020 / Gyonyoung Yoon, Filling in Physical Reality, Living in Digital Reality, 2020 / Robin Haithcoat, Puncture, 2019
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