Organized in conjunction with the acclaimed Porn FilmFestival Berlin, SomoS Art House presented the “Custom Paradise” group exhibition: a collection of performative projects and ephemeral installations as critical responses to the notions of fantasy, image consumption, and the spectatorship and voyeurism of sexuality in mediated society.
This topic was partially inspired as a response to the recent resurgence in the popularity of virtual reality. Two virtual reality artists, Michel Reilhac and Maria Guta, presented installations utilizing the technology to express their surreal fantasy-filled immersive environments, and visitors had the chance to experience these artworks using multiple VR headsets.
Other participating artists and performers looked behind and beyond the technical or technological aspect of virtual reality into a broader range of practices based upon a deep-seated desire to shape and define our own versions of reality or to create ways, places, or times in which we can escape from reality.
Artists and performers addressed questions such as what it is that compels people to leave reality behind and enter a virtual reality? What would they like to find in this reality, or what is it that is missing in our shared reality? Why do people want to isolate themselves in their own private reality? How do we imagine our own paradise? Can we create it according to our private fantasy, according to our own intimate needs? Or can we enter one, that is offered to us, one that already exists? Can we negotiate or adapt our own paradise? Can it be a public paradise, a democratic one, open for all? Do we want to share it, let others in?
Visual artists and performers, as well as virtual reality filmmakers responded to these questions through a series of performative installations over the course of five days. Sensorial experiences, interactivity vs performative isolation, and modified realities through immersion or dissociation, were topics that were covered as we explored our instinct to create our own personal or custom paradises.
On October 25th, 2016 from 6–9pm, all of the participating artists and performers engaged audiences with a short version of their project. On each of the subsequent exhibition days, October 26th – 30th, 2016, one of these artists or performers presented their work daily.
Sadie Weis, US
Murray Gaylard, ZA
Lisa Stertz, DE
Goldankauf – Das Kollektiv Alejandra Baltazares & Helena Hernández, MX
Ann Oren, IL
Jezella Pigott, UK
Graham Guy-Robinson, UK
Michel Reilhac, FR
Stéphane Morey, CH
Maria Guta, RO
Sarah Lüdemann & Adrian Brun, DE/AR
Opening October 25th, 2016, 6-9pm
Duration October 26th – 30th 2016
Location: SomoS, Kottbusser Damm 95, 10967 Berlin