“Hilma af Klint dreamed of a spiral building constructed to house her most important work,” Daniel Birnbaum, the former director of Moderna Museet, told Artnet News. “It is clear that his paintings aimed to take the viewer to levels of consciousness beyond that of everyday life. Was it really a physical building she had in mind? Or was it perhaps a spiritual site, something existing in another dimension? »
Visitors to this year’s Frieze London will have the opportunity to contemplate these questions during a virtual reality simulation of the Temple of Hilma af Klint, created by production company Acute Art.
The VR work is scheduled for the release of a new catalog raisonné of the work of Hilma af Klint, co-edited by Birnbaum, who is the artistic director of Acute Art.
The late Hilma af Klint, Swedish artist and mystic, is considered by many to be the first abstract artist. Between 1906 and 1915, she created a series of 193 abstract paintings for the “Temple”, a project which she believed had been entrusted to her by superior minds known as The High Masters.
“The images were painted directly through me, without any preliminary drawing and with great force,” she wrote in her notebook at the time. “I had no idea what the paintings were supposed to represent; nevertheless, I worked quickly and surely, without changing a single brushstroke.
As for what the artist would do with virtual reality, Birnbaum said, “Hilma af Klint had a scientific mind. One wonders what she would have thought of calculation and recent inventions, such as the blockchain. It’s a bit irreverent to say it, but the experience she was anticipating seems to be substantially compatible with virtual space and digital technology.
The interactive artwork is part of a larger program of virtual reality, augmented and mixed reality exhibitions by established artists, including Lee Bul and Ron Mueck, to be staged internationally by Acute Art. Together, these immersive experience projects and the metaverse bring an ever-expanding variety of artistic experiences to audiences, regardless of location.
Other works announced include Olafur Eliasson’s Your point of view mattersa participatory work that was included in his major solo exhibition at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence, open until January 22, 2023.
The work invites the public to explore their bodily perception in six virtual spaces in which walls and ceilings change and deform in response to the viewer’s actions.
“Acute Art’s mission is to build bridges between two art worlds, one centered on traditional institutions and the other exploring new digital possibilities,” said Birnbaum. “These global exhibitions clearly show that this is already happening.”
Hilma af Klint’s Temple in Virtual Reality will premiere at KOKO in Camden on October 12 before being presented at Swedenborg House from October 14-16. An AR version will also be installed at Regent’s Park.
After Frieze, she will travel to Paris, exhibited at the Swedish Cultural Institute from October 19 to 23 on the occasion of the new Paris+ art fair.
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