Mbryonic (Tom Szrites & Xan Adderley) with Xavier Sole, Sun Followers (2018). Virtual environment. © Mbryonic (Tom Szrites & Xan Adderley) with Xavier Sole. Courtesy Gazelli Art House.
Gazelli Art House's exhibition, Enter Through the Headset 5 (ETTH5), will open on Friday, September 4th, 2020 at Gazelli's space on Dover Street; it will be the fifth edition of Gazelli's annual virtual reality (VR) experience, showcasing interactive installations from ten artists and artist collaborations.
'We are thrilled to be celebrating the fifth-year anniversary of the Enter Through the Headset exhibition series and to welcome back most of the artists showing their very latest works as well as some historic ones dating back to the 1980s. It has always been our priority to support artistic expression through various mediums and today we continue to ensure VR is a celebrated medium in the curatorial space, which has grown increasingly important in our shifting world,' says Gazelli Art House founder Mila Askarova.
ETTH5 features artworks from Rebecca Allen (US), Jocelyn Anquetil (UK), BRiGHTBLACK (Simon Wilkinson and Myra Appannah) (UK), Claudia Hart (US), Gibson / Martelli with Roche & Mercier (UK/Ireland),Michael Takeo Magruder with Drew Baker (US/UK), Matterlurgy (UK), Mbryonic (Tom Szirtes &Xan Adderley) with Xavier Sole (UK/Spain), Iain Nicholls (UK), Matteo Zamagni (UK/Italy). Each individual or collaboration weaves together digital, virtual and augmented elements of the medium to raise topical and urgent questions around the environment, barriers and social media.
Rebecca Allen's historic video work Creation Myth (1985) is shown in the UK for the first time. Commissioned by Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell (of Studio 54 and boutique hotel Fame) for the opening of the Palladium night club in New York, the work is about the birth of a new environment. Claudia Hart's Digital Death (2013) too, questions the cycle of life as she combines two pieces of software that are in contradiction with each other to create an algorithm allowing a Taoist cherry tree to grow and eat itself in an endless loop. Matteo Zamagni's Nature Abstraction 2.0 (2018), shown at the Brooklyn Academy of Music earlier this year, explores the mathematical visual representation of natural and biological forms. The first iteration of Nature Abstraction was exhibited at the Barbican Centre (2015) and Enter Through the Headset 2 (2016) before taking over the screens on Times Square for Midnight Moment NYC the same year.
Michael Takeo Magruder's Endless Wall (2008–2020) in collaboration with Drew Baker, explores the limitations of historic and contemporary barriers posed by communication technologies under the guise of protection and security. Upon entering the virtual environment, the viewer is confronted by an impassable wall spanning into the distance.
Other highlights include Matterlurgy's Air Morphologies (2020), a project investigating the materiality and composition of air pollution particles. Developed in collaboration with scientists from the University of Cambridge and artsXR, this body of work was initiated during the artist duo's residency at Delfina Foundation and comprises of film, sound, photographic collage and virtual environment. Also marrying photography and film to virtual reality, Jocelyn Anquetil constructs Mundania 0.0 (2018), a modern sci-fi tale that explores sexuality, creativity and competitiveness in the age of social media.
Press release courtesy Gazelli Art House.