Enter Through The Headset 4 (ETTH4) is the fourth edition of the annual exhibition showcasing artists working within the medium of virtual reality (VR) at Gazelli Art House. The exhibiting artists have also been previous residents of ‘Gazell.io’ – the gallery’s month-long online residency that runs alongside the gallery exhibition programme. Gazell.io is an innovative digital platform with a commitment to digital art, interactivity and education.
Gibson/Martelli, Drawing Levels, 2019
In ETTH4, four artists explore the imaginary world within which the viewer navigates and interacts, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. Visitors are lead on a journey through whimsical, immersive environments and back again, in an attempt to address the solitary nature of both the experience of the medium and its reflection in real life. Throughout the exhibition, the public is presented with data-driven uses of VR technologies whilst drawing on themes of embodiment, movement and storytelling.
Opening with an arts-research project entitled Imaginary Cities by Michael Takeo Magruder, a real-time virtual ‘city’ exclusively created from an early urban map of New York City is revealed. The former artist-in-residence at the British Library remixes live data from the Library’s digital collection of historic urban maps into fictional cityscapes for the Information Age.
Media artist Claudia Hart’s works expand on the notion of embodiment whilst exploring the element of movement with Alice: A Machine For Thinking – a work that feeds-back the virtual and the live and blends them together in a liminal, uncanny mix, consisting of 2 parallel representations.
In keeping with these themes, the duo Gibson/Martelli exhibit Drawing Levels, a series of works created by a part of the body crucial for dancers – the feet. Using the Quill software, a gesture as a solid shape in a type of motion-capture system is rendered. The foot sketches resemble brain-shaped tumbleweed which in VR become environmental superstructures.
The exhibition closes with a return to the interplay between reality and fiction by honing in on the storytelling prevalent throughout Ziv Scheider’s works titled, Watertight. Schneider creates a series of miniature portraits that offer a cross-section of a contemporary demographic phenomenon: single-resident occupancies.
“We are excited to welcome back artists Gibson/Martelli and Takeo Magruder and showcase works by Hart and Schneider for the first time, we hope with these shows we will continue building on a market for VR works within a curatorial context that is relevant in our world today.”
says Gazelli Art House CEO & Founding Director, Mila Askarova.
Claudia Hart’s work is about issues of the body, perception, and nature. Everything is fluid in it including gender. She considers it Cyborg-ish, creating liminal spaces, and is in love with the interface between real and unreal because it is space of contemplation and transformation.
Gibson/Martelli examine ideas of player, performer and visitor playfully addressing the position of the self – intertwining tropes of videogames and traditions of figure & landscape. The duo was nominated for a British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and in 2015 they won the Lumen Gold Prize.
Michael Takeo Magruder is a visual artist and researcher who works with new media including real-time data, digital archives, and immersive environments. Michael’s projects have been showcased in over 280 exhibitions in 35 countries and his art has been funded by the British Library, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Arts Council England.
Ziv Schneider is an artist and designer working with new and emerging technologies, often in the context of non-fiction storytelling and cultural preservation. Her work has been showcased internationally in festivals and museums including Sotheby’s, MIT, and Futurium Berlin.
Enter Through The Headset 4 (ETTH4) Claudia Hart, Gibson/Martelli, Michael Takeo Magruder, Ziv Schneider
Private View: Thursday, September 5th, 6–8 pm Exhibition: September 6th–28th, 2019 gazelliarthouse.com