This year’s Venice Biennale will mark the launch of Khora Contemporary, a Virtual Reality (VR) production company created specifically for artists.
Major commissions by German artist, Christian Lemmerz, and from LA-based Paul McCarthy, will mark Khora Contemporary’s launch, part of this summer’s Faurschou Foundation presentation in Venice, during the 2017 Venice Biennale. Both artists can be seen to have pushed their ideas, and ultimately their practice, through their ground-breaking approach to the use of this fast-evolving medium. Christian Lemmerz’s La Apparizione, produced earlier this year, aims to disrupt stereotypes of religious imagery, engaging the viewer in a discomforting, close-up experience with a burning corpse of Jesus Christ, which ‘rains’ embers. Jesus and other religious personages have figured in the artist’s work before, and ‘Bodybuilder’ Jesus first appeared in Lemmerz’s oeuvre in 2013 in sculpture form. Here, he comes alive in death, his rippling muscles writhing in agony, dripping golden blood into the physical space of the viewer.
The aim of this VR work is to enhance the relationship the viewer forms with the imagery; its beauty, excess, death and pain. Paul McCarthy’s work CSSC VR experiment "what is your name?” has been especially created for the show in Venice, and revisits characters previously present in the series ‘Coach Stage Stage Coach’, or ‘CSSC’ for short. McCarthy has often tested the emotional stamina of the public. This time experience transcends borders, through the interplay of the female characters Mary and Eve, the artwork interacts directly with the viewer’s personal space, left with no choice, but to take a protagonist position in the unfolding act. Khora Contemporary commission works directly from artists, connecting them to specialist developers at Khora VR in Denmark.
The artworks are presented using the best VR technology to date, HTC VIVE, a fully immersive VR system allowing room-scale movement. Khora Contemporary aims to trigger a new wave of artistic practice, and experiential artworks, with the power to affect the senses and the subconscious. Virtual reality has made a successful entry onto the global market at an unusually fast pace, although access for artists to the most up to date technology and quality viewing options is still developing. Khora VR has joined forces with Faurschou Foundation to launch Khora Contemporary to enable artists to create new scenarios where the psychological and physical spheres overlap.
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12 May - 27 August 2017 Faurschou Foundation, Fondazione Cini, Venice