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Anyone who has had any experience with a virtual reality headset will know that they can be disconcerting – a fact that might help explain the exclamations of shock audible from visitors to Virtual Reality Art, as they experienced Faurschou’s latest exhibition via this divisive, newfangled technology.
That VR would quickly go beyond the realm of gaming fantasy to posh white- walled galleries is not surprising, as the medium holds huge potential for the visual arts, transporting viewers into the artist’s interior world.
Virtual Reality Art threads the work of five artists, who have all been working with Danish VR mavericks Khora Contemporary, to realise a common virtual vision. Each artist is exhibited for a month, with twelve booths in the space all showing the same work. First up is Christian Lemmerz, followed by Erik Parker, Paul McCarthy, Tony Oursler and, finally, Yu Hong.
On entering, a VR headset and headphones are plonked onto my head and I’m immediately transported to another world. Lemmerz’s vision is of a huge, golden, crucified Jesus with streams of golden blood occasionally falling from wounds or the mouth. All around, it’s pitch black but for a few twinkling stars and the occasional delineation of a green cube, there to stop us walking into the walls surrounding the booth. Through the headphones I can hear raspy breathing. All in all, it’s pretty heavy stuff, but it’s an amazing experience to see such advanced and surreal VR art.
At the far end of the exhibition are two rooms – one with four preparatory drawings made by Lemmerz during the design process, the other room with a tiny solid gold Jesus figurine, heightening this unusual and mentally stimulating experience. We’re excited to see what’s in store from the next instalment of artists.
By Tom Mouna