Welt ohne Außen
Gropius Bau, Berlin
– 5 August 2018
“Welt ohne Außen. Immersive Spaces since the 1960s” [The World Outside] is a combination of participative exhibition, performances, and workshops. Visitors will receive permanent tickets granting them access over two months to the various presentations by diverse artists.
“This ritual of Western modernism can be seen as an expression of a particular set of ideas about being in the world: a world that we, as human beings, confront in opposition , evaluating objects (including art objects) from a critical distance. Immersion, on the other hand, stimulates a direct and immediate experience. Entering and immersing oneself as a part of – and in relation to – an experience is prioritised over the evaluation observation.” This paragraph in the event’s description explains the theme of the interactive exhibition, which uses various channels – from traditional art presentation to immersive journalism - to bring visitors and art closer together.
Another central element are the performances which take place in the Schliemann hall, and emphasise the tension between the presentation of an established dramaturgy and a situational event. The supplementary workshop programme changes weekly and will be led by various artists on the theme of “Embodied Aesthetics”. There, participants can demonstrate “dedication, commitment and engagement” and will be introduced to various practices, in order to use not only their own body for art, but also to develop feeling as a bodily occurrence.
The organisers have used the English word “immersion” which has become established in Germany in contemporary life through the gaming scene. It stands for the effect that occurs when moving in a fictional, digital environment (such as landscapes and scenarios in computer games) over an extended period of time and players increasingly perceiving this as being real. The interesting thing about this concept is primarily the issue of how the visitor from “the world outside” immerses himself in this curated, artificial world and what he is aware of. Which art projects convey a more powerful impression in the context of immersion? Is it the virtual reality film by the artist Nonny de la Peña, or the physical light and space illusions by Larry Bell, for example, from the late 1960s, who created room installations with coloured glass elements?
The central role of the viewer in this exhibition and the invitation to participate in the workshops make it clear that the world – the reality – arises particularly as a result of physical and social perception and by this generates lasting experiences.