“Welcome to the Real World”
This year, DOK Neuland is presenting VR experiences and 360° films under the title “Welcome to the Real World”. The interactive exhibition, which runs from 29 October to 2 November 2019, will be shown for the first time at Museum der bildenden Künste (MdbK) Leipzig. The immersive worlds of the twelve new media works featured here, hailing from countries such as Kenya, Taiwan, and Israel, offer viewers a chance to encounter underrepresented narratives and stories situated beyond the usual perspectives of majority society.
“Instead of diving into virtual worlds, we leave the matrix in our heads behind here,” commented Lars Rummel regarding his central aim as curator of the programme.
The international works offer multi-layered perspectives: whether providing insight into the point of view of physically challenged individuals (4 FEET: BLIND DATE), conveying a mind-expanding experience guided by an indigenous Shipibo shaman (AYAHUASCA), or depicting an interreligious encounter in Jerusalem (THE HOLY CITY). LE LAC even treats the shrinking of Kenya’s Lake Chad as seen by the life-giving body of water itself. In DARK ORIGINS: MEPHISTO, viewers have the opportunity to travel to the subsurface habitat of the extremophile roundworm species Halicephalobus mephisto.
The narratives featured here also include painful experiences and events, such as the confrontation with police violence at Kiev’s Maidan Square in 2014 (AFTERMATH), or the necessity of “safe places” for African-American travellers, which is treated in a 360° film situated in the thematic tradition of the “Negro Motorist Green Book” (TRAVELING WHILE BLACK). CANDY WORLD, a piece originating in Leipzig that recontextualises quotes and comments from the most hate-filled corners of the web (namely the forums of 4chan and 8chan) within a pink Candy-Crush-like world. Then there is UNCEDED TERRITORIES, which uses a gamified approach to explore the (post)colonial habit of appropriation.
By contrast, the piece YOUR SPIRITUAL TEMPLE SUCKS offers an experience that falls more squarely on the fun side. HANAHANA FULL BLOOM constructs an experiential world in which participants can entwine and attach hands and arms of various sizes and colours with one another free from the constrictions of an existing narrative, resulting in a nearly infinite labyrinth of extremities. Last but not least: CESARE’S DREAM, a 360° film adaptation of the nearly 100-year-old classic THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI.