Life Without Matter considers a future life in virtual reality where material things - physical matter - have mostly disappeared and our identity must be redefined.
Within the virtual world we find ourselves in a mythic place. A mirror appears and the viewer confronts their digital reflection. And since a virtual world is immaterial, a virtual mirror need not reflect one’s physical appearance, but rather the female, male and animal in all of us.
While the viewer is interacting with their virtual reflection, their shadow is projected on a special screen in the exhibition space, revealing their actions to the audience. This presents two components to the art experience; the intimate, self-reflective experience in the virtual world and the projected, public experience via the shadow screen.
This artwork goes beyond the solely visual aspect of perception to engage the viewer in a multi-sensory experience that affects the whole body, evoking core questions about human identity. Meanwhile, the audience, like the prisoners in Plato’s Cave, can only see this world as shadows as they eagerly await entry into a world without matter.Partially commissioned by QUAD Gallery, Arts Council England and Derby City Council
Life Without Matter (2018)
by Rebecca Allen
Tomàs Peire Serrate
• Rebecca Allen (Life Without Matter), Zabludowicz Collection, London, UK. September 12 – October 20, 2019.
• Rebecca Allen: Sync(Emerge(Consciousness)) Solo exhibition including premiere of commissioned VR installation Life Without Matter and selected earlier works, QUAD Gallery, Derby, UK. November 9, 2108 – February 3, 2019.