Chameleon Gallery: Longing
August 8th - August 25th, 2019
Tuesday - Sunday, 11am–7pm
Thursday late night, 11am–9pm
325 Canal Street, New York City
Reservation require for this exhibition.
Reservation Link for Longing: Here
Reservation Link for Longing Special VR Program: Here
Reservation Link for closing reception feat live performance: HERE
Chameleon Gallery is honored to present the group exhibition, Longing. With the increasing number of digital media in our daily life, on the one hand, we have more tools to memorialize the events happened day to day and preserve the history in the past. On the other hand, these external tools inherently become part of the representation of the past. In the discussion about fetish, Sigmund Freud mentions that “the part of body is substituted for the whole, or an object is substituted for the past.” In order to achieve wholeness, the longing for the substitution never ceased. Documenting and reconfiguring the past is the nature to us that we need them to fulfill the incompleteness for the desire of wholeness. These external objects in the digital epoch are not just physical existence, but also virtual content. Longing features two virtual reality experiences created by artists Pierre Friquet and Miao Tian & Yang Liu, and 3D printing installation made by artist Luke Ikard. These artworks that utilize cutting-edge technologies pursuit for connection with a nebulous end.
In accompany with the group exhibition, Chameleon Gallery will also feature multiple VR experiences which will be available on SteamVR for free soon. The works include Ana Knezevic’s Voiding the Void, Sara Tirelli’s 360-degree film Medusa, and WareHouse, which is a collaborative project between Chameleon Gallery and emerging young artists, including Sicheng Wang, Wenkai Li, Nandan Sam He, and Chuxi Guo.
Featuring VR Projects:
In this exhibition, Chameleon Gallery will feature multiple VR experiences and most of them are debut in NYC.
Co-creator: Ando Shah
Credits: Federico Saldarini, Mourad Bennadcer Jean-Yves Münch
Patterns is a supernatural horror psychedelic experience narrating the reemergence of a repressed past. Walter plunges into a hypnosis session to investigate why he feels dispossessed from his own body. Through memories, imagination and a recurrent nightmare he travels on a mental journey to decipher bizarre signs his own past. What Walter encounters is a family secret in the form of a monster that goes on a rampage in the sewage of his ancestral house. Once the viewer puts on the headset, they are within the mind of the protagonist, exploring his suppressed memories, contained within rooms of a Victorian house. Within room-scale VR, they are able to walk from memory to memory, bearing witness to the unfolding of events. In many ways it can be compared to interactive theater, but the viewer has a much more personal journey as the mind of the protagonist reacts to their presence.
Miao Tian & Yang Liu
Urbangazer lets people see an otherwise absent starry sky above Manhattan in Virtual Reality. By laying down, a real time virtual starry sky appears on top of manmade dazzles of New York City. While the artists are searching for ways to reconnect to their childhood stargazing experiences, the question remains: in this post digital age, why are we constantly finding ourselves yearning to reconnect to the experiences we lost pre-technologies?
Voiding the Void
3D Visualization: Marija Milovanovic
VR Programming: Alex Lashkhi
Voiding the Void is an HTC Vive VR installation. Viewers pass through virtual spaces in the installation, exploring shapes and sounds from afar and within. This movement triggers subtle shifts that offer the viewer new relationships to the virtual space they are in and the world they return to. Within the installation, there are five different virtual spaces with unique environments consisting of shapes, sounds, and light. To travel between the virtual spaces, you must navigate to the center of the space you are in. Once you reach the center of the symmetrical space, you will automatically pass through to the next room.
Medusa is a 360-degree video work that is experienced with a virtual-reality headset. It describes a Europe in crisis, and the events in the film mix fact with fiction. Sara Tirelli has used current news, social media, EU documents and interviews to portray the identity of the EU and the prevailing situation for people seeking asylum. The title of the work refers to the Greek myth about the gorgon Medusa, whose gaze turned people into stone. It also suggests the historic painting by Théodore Géricault, The Raft of the Medusa (1818-1819), which is a depiction of the survivors of a shipwreck and how people are the victims of poor decisions made by the rulers. The Raft of the Medusa, in turn, has similarities with contemporary images of refugees who risk their lives on the way to Europe, while people in Europe are paralysed watching the events unfold on their TV screens. There is an obvious link between the painting and today’s media images of the refugee situation.
Chameleon Gallery In Collaboration with Sicheng Wang, Wenkai Li, Nandan Sam He, and Chuxi Guo
VR Programing and 3D Visualization: Haoran Chang
Warehouse is a special program between Chameleon Gallery and artists whose practices are normally not involved with Virtual Reality. By experimenting with this new media in various ways, Warehouse intends to bridge the boundary between traditional art media and virtual reality. In the first volume, Chameleon Gallery adapted four artists’ previous pieces and represented in the VR space.
Longing Closing Performance
Artist: Yihan Chen, Lan Shi Otayonii
In the closing reception, Chameleon Gallery presents two live performances, Emotions on Line by Yihan Chen, and Automaton Alive by Lane Shi Otayonii. In Chen’s performance, she performs with a wearable instrument that is triggered by pulling strings out of a retractable custom mechanism. Her body and external mechanism operate together as a unity, expanding the corporeal existence and pursuing a bodily coherence bounded within the solitary entity. The string is the allegory of longing for building a connection, yet the limited length constrained by the body makes the intention of establishing a connection to become an individual action. Searching for the connection, differently, is involved with another entity, an Automaton, in Otayonii’s performance. This automaton, named CC, an innocent child who runs to find the mother during the last day of the world, performs along with Otayonii. CC is not only an inhuman being, aka a robot, but also an externalization of the performer, the representation of the “I”, and a fragmented body image. Echoing Lacan’s Mirror Stage theory, the baby automaton is the reflexivity of the self/performer, and the distance between them is bridging with the sound vibrating in the space. These two performances are more about searching for the identity of self. The longingness of wholeness, rather than achieving through internality, is mediated with external media, which implies an inclination to expand the human body to achieve this goal facing the loneliness and fragility in everyday life.
Emotions on Line
Emotions on Line is a wearable instrument that generates sound by pulling strings out of a retractable custom mechanism attached to the performer’s body. The sound has an analog change according to the performer’s body extension. In this way, different people with different body size would play the instrument differently with the unique sound being composed.
Lane Shi Otayonii
Automaton Alive took the story and transform it into a performing piece that has the center spotlight of the physical resemblance of the main character “CC”, which is an one-meter-tall automaton, who will be “singing” and “harmonizing” with me, along with body movements and light installation inside the automaton to show the key components in my concept. In the piece sound and the music will run through the whole storyboard, it contains clues to tell the story as it evolves. Sounds and music are played live all by me, similar to the concept of live film scoring. On top of that, projection mapping will be complied to the color expressions in the scenes. In this piece, I am a troubadour, a 3rd narrative telling the story with sounds and voice, later become a chained-soul of the lost generation; “CC” on the other hand, is a future resemblance of myself in the form of another spices, existing on the day of world’s end. And our two identity intertwine when “CC” starts to harmonize with me vocally.
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