Phase 4, Phi Immersive: Theatre of Virtuality
Phase 4 opened on September 15th and will close on October 28th.
Phi Immersive: Theatre of Virtuality is located at Ca’ Rezzonico Gallery, next to the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum, Dorsoduro 2793 and 2793A, Venice. The gallery is open Mondays and Wednesday- Sunday from 10am-7pm, and closed on Tuesdays. Admission is free and open to the public.
The future of media imagined
Phi’s Theatre of Virtuality is a six-month long exhibition that runs parallel to the 58th International Biennale Arte in Venice. It’s mandate is to explore how new and emerging art forms are consumed, and it features the stunning new-media gymnastics of some of the world’s most innovative creators of visual and virtual art from Marina Abramovic to Felix & Paul Studios.
Titled “May You Live in Interesting Times,” the 2019 Biennale is a fitting setting for Phi’s work. Founded and directed by Phoebe Greenberg, and based in Montreal, Canada, Phi is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to the interactive exploration of radical, collective-based themes at the intersection of art, film, music, design and technology.
Creative collaboration is critical to Phi’s process, and Theatre of Virtuality is a pristine example of what an institution’s commitment to the emerging world of virtual reality and new media can look like. There’s a “VR Cinema,” where viewers find the acclaimed work of VR maestros Felix & Paul among established conceptual and experimental greats like Abramović and Olafur Elliasson, as well as the collaborative experience, “Speculating Futures,” a multi-screen installation created by five emerging artists tasked with presenting their vision of what the year 2040 might hold in light of the geopolitical and environmental challenges facing the world today.
“This exhibition offers an opportunity to see the works of some of the most compelling artists of our time exploring the immersive world of virtual reality,” says Greenberg of the exhibition. “Familiar landscapes and textures of these renowned artists can be seen through the lens of these new technologies.”
“VR Cinema” presents a collection of four works that helped Felix & Paul Studio’s stake its claim as one of the world’s most critically acclaimed VR creators. It includes the Emmy-nominated experience, “Traveling While Black,” which immerses viewers in the difficulties that black Americans have historically faced when it comes to moving from place to place; “Cirque du Soleil – Inside the Box of Kurios,” which places viewers directly inside a fascinating curio cabinet in the famed circus; “Space Explorers: Taking Flight,” an illuminating journey exploring the collaborative process undertaken by multiple countries to maintain cosmic outposts like the International Space Station; and “Space Explorers: A New Dawn,” which invites audiences to bear witness to the lives of NASA astronauts as they go about their often perilous daily routines.
Also included in the exhibit are a series of experiences that challenge the imagination as much as they do the physical senses: “It Will End in Stars,” is an immersive virtual reality experience combining Nathalie Djurberg’s distinctive sculpted figures with black-and-white charcoal drawings, text, and an unsettling soundtrack by Hans Berg; “Lunatick,” British sculptor Antony Gormley’s collaboration with astrophysicist Dr. Priyamvada Natarajan; Marina Abramović’s first virtual reality work, “Rising,” which exposes viewers to the effects of rising sea levels; and Olafur Eliasson’s, “Rainbow,” which generates an ephemeral natural phenomenon.
Collectively, the show is a look not only at what is, but at what can be. Most certainly it is not to be missed.
Phi Immersive: Theatre of Virtuality
Ca’ Rezzonico Gallery
Phi’s Theatre of Virtuality - Ca’Rezzonico Gallery
Dorsoduro, 2793, 2793A Venice VE, Italy
September 15, 2019 to October 28, 2019