May 25 – November 5 2017
"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."– Philip K. Dick
Harm van den Dorpel
Giulia Bowinkel & Friedemann Banz
Virtual reality will be one of the major themes in 2017 - for business, the entertainment industry and for art. With its "Unreal“ exhibition, the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, as one of the first exhibition venues worldwide, will inaugurate a permanent virtual extension building, on 19 May 2017, in which purely virtual group and solo exhibitions will be presented in the future.
Up to now, in order to exhibit digital art, many museums and exhibition venues have resorted to the, frequently, unsatisfactory makeshift solution of transferring the virtual works back into white space. The virtual room has been a scarcely used option for contemporary art. Now, at the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, a purely virtual exhibition space will be developed for the first time and visitors will enter this through a virtual reality lounge, which will be 250 square metres in size, on the upper floor. There will be several sections in which visitors with VR glasses will be able to move around freely in the virtual room.
"Unreal“, the debut exhibition, will begin on 19 May 2017 and will revolve around epistemological issues. How is reality structured? Is it at all still possible to distinguish between simulated and authentic worlds? How intelligent are artificial systems already? Will virtual reality make the human body superfluous at some point? The international group exhibition will showcase works by, among others, Akihiko Taniguchi, Harm van den Dorpel, Jeremy Bailey, Giulia Bowinkel & Friedemann Banz, Theo Trian and Tianzhuo Chen. "Unreal“ will be curated by Alain Bieber, the artistic director of the NRW-Forum Düsseldorf, and the Net artist, programmer and founder of the virtual gallery Float, Manuel Rossner, who will also design the architecture of the virtual room.
Unreal is funded by the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sports of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia