Acute Art Brings Its “Unreal City” AR Exhibit To Your Home
In response to lockdown measures in London, the AR platform has expanded its ‘Unreal City’ exhibit to the global community, accessible from the security of the home
In recent months, viewing art outdoors has become a welcome and necessary solution to the forced suspension of gallery events. But in December, Acute Art went further, with an exhibition formula that didn’t require a gallery or physical art. It launched its ‘Unreal City’ outdoor AR exhibit in December, and now, in response to tightened coronavirus restrictions across the UK, has made the exhibit available from inside your home.
The original concept was organized as a walking tour. Rightly titled “Unreal City”, it was located in 24 locations between Waterloo Bridge and Millenium Bridge on the South Bank of London. The exhibition – now visible in any location imaginable – features works by Olafur Eliasson, Cao Fei, Alicja Kwade, Koo Jeong A, Marco Brambilla and new pieces by Tomás Saraceno, KAWS, Bjarne Melgaard and Darren Bader.
Users can now turn their homes or gardens into a large AR exhibit, available until February 9, 2021. As Daniel Birnbaum, Artistic Director of Acute Art and Curator of “Unreal City,” said, “You can have Nina Chanel Abney’s Imaginary friend in your living room, that of Bjarne Melgaard Evil man in your kitchen or TO TAKE of KAWS floating in your room. The world can stop but art does not stop.
Olafur Eliasson, Benevolent Northern Lights and Lucky Stone. Augmented reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art
Alicja Kwade’s, Anytime anytime can hover ominously over your kitchen counter. Elsewhere, in another surrealist twist, Olafur Eliasson Courageous flowers see green foliage growing from the concrete slabs of the Thames Path or the carpet in your living room.
“In recent years, works involving virtual elements have regularly been included in biennials and museum exhibitions, but generally in a manner that obeys traditional institutional structures,” explained Daniel Birnbaum, artistic director of Acute Art and curator of ‘Unreal City. “Could we instead imagine immersive experiences spread across geographic areas in innovative ways, connecting local perceptual nodes in ways that create entirely new exhibition formats? I believe the answer is yes. We will use these technologies to change the structure of the art world and make possible new forms of global exchange for a future in which we are less inclined to jump on a plane. ‘
Olafur Eliasson, Courageous flowers. Augmented reality. Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art
The large-scale group exhibition seeks to ‘democratize’ art and bring it to places that would prove physically impossible in the real world, through the lens of AR. Viewers just need to download the Acute Art app, point their phone in the direction of the chosen backdrop, and watch each piece of art appear curiously. The project, a collaboration between Acute Art and Media stunned, is named as “London’s largest public AR festival”, and now an event that the global community can enjoy.
As Jacob De Geer, CEO of Acute Art, added at the time of the initial launch: “In these complicated times, our aspiration has taken on new relevance and urgency. We are happy that all the artists are joining us in the project. The institutions are closed but art must not be canceled! ‘ §