- The Unframed World at the HeK in Basel
Virtual Reality is becoming an increasing part of our routine lives since mass-market VR technologies were launched. Although we have already seen experiments with augmented reality, in the museum field (like the Refrakt app), the fact that artists themselves are creating virtual artworks has only become popular more recently.
HeK, the “House of Electronic Arts Basel” Basel is without a doubt the perfect place to present the first group exhibition of this art form. The museum, set up in 2011 and since 2014 in its venue in the Dreispitzareal, an urban redevelopment zone has the task of spreading the digital culture and new art forms in the information technology age.
This is an interdisciplinary place for creative and critical discourse on the aesthetic, socio-political and economic impact of media technologies, bringing together art, culture, and technology.
Which is where “The Unframed World. Virtual Reality as artistic medium for the 21st century” comes in, introducing VR experiences as an artistic medium of our times, through the works of nine international artists and their installations, projections, video works, and sculptures. They explore the aesthetic potential of virtual reality and examine the role of VR as a critical medium for reflection on the states of being in the world today, by addressing architecture, poetry, performance, identity and much more.
The Video game industry has been working in the VR field for years, as have the first architects (link) with really surprising results; now at the HeK we can see the artistic approach to VR, not oriented so much toward a realistic interpretation as to direct contact with the artwork, where the virtual and immersive experience means we can become part of it and see it from the inside out. Ok, we're in a museum, but in theory, are we somewhere else, inside the dream or the nightmare of every artist to make their art independent of official institutions? So who tells us what is art? These questions are a prerogative of our digital world, and the HeK is promoting just that.
Exhibition “The Unframed World. Virtual Reality as artistic medium for the 21st century”
from 18 January to 5 March 2018
HeK, Basil, Switzerland
Curator: Tina Sauerlaender
With works by: Li Alin (CANADA/GERMANY), Banz & Bowinkel (GERMANY), Fragment.In (SWITZERLAND), Martha Hipley (US), Rindon Johnson (US), Marc Lee (SWITZERLAND), Mélodie Mousset & Naëm Baron (FRANCE/SWITZERLAND), Rachel Rossin (US), Alfredo Salazar-Caro (US)
Images: Courtesy of HeK
Find out more: http://www.hek.ch/