As Art Basel’s official virtual reality (VR) partner, HTC Vive has announced the first public presentation of two immersive artworks by Marina Abramović and Anish Kapoor from 29-31 March 2018 at Art Basel in Hong Kong.
Produced in collaboration with Acute Art, Rising by Abramović and Into Yourself, Fall by Kapoor mark the first time either artist has created an artwork using VR technology.
Rising addresses the effects of climate change by transporting viewers to witness rising sea levels, where they’ll come face-to-face with the artist, who beckons from within a glass tank that is slowly filling with water from her waist to her neck.
“In this moment of my career, I have been wondering how to transfer energy from body to body through the use of modern technology,” Abramović said in a statement. “This VR artwork raises questions about technology’s impact on human empathy through the lens of a pressing issue facing our world: climate change. Changes to the global climate threaten existing ways of living. Rising will offer people the chance to empathise and respond to the needs of others affected by this crisis. I am particularly interested in how audiences’ consciousness and energy will be affected by a virtual experience of helping others”
While Kapoor’s Into Yourself, Fall, is a surreal journey through the human body, with the artist explaining: “Into Yourself, Fall, takes us on a journey through the human body, experiencing the sensation of falling into yourself via this immersive medium. The work seeks to simulate vertigo as a descent inside the human body, depicting a labyrinth of the inner workings of the self.”
It begins with a forest scene. In a clearing viewers find a large black void in the ground. This takes them through a complex series of tunnels with walls that appear to be made of sinewy flesh and muscle. With this work, Kapoor invites users to experience a surreal sensation of exploring the unknown, with viewers losing themselves in another realm.
At the fair guests will be able to try both experiences on either the Vive Pro or Vive Focus in the HTC Vive Lounge. Rising and Into Yourself, Fall will also come to Viveport for users to try at home. As further collaborative efforts between HTC Vive and Art Basel are announced, VRFocus will keep you updated.