In his first major solo exhibition in London, NEW FICTION, KAWS (Brian Donnelly b.1974) presents new and recent works in physical and augmented reality at Serpentine North. The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Acute Art and curated by Acute Art’s Artistic Director, Daniel Birnbaum. A parallel digital version of the show launches simultaneously in Fortnite, a video game developed by Epic Games.
Serpentine and KAWS will use an app developed by Acute Art to offer a bridge between the virtual and the physical worlds. All the paintings and sculptures in the exhibition as well as a miniature version of the entire show will exist as AR works on the Acute Art app and can be placed and viewed at home by viewers globally. They can also be shared on social media, making KAWS’ art visible across the world.
The exhibition is free but visitors are required to book a slot – a very familiar procedure now due to Covid. Unfortunately tickets are sold out already but walk-in is possible if it is not crowded.
The live experience is always better than watching the screen. I definitely recommend people to go and see the actual installation in a physical space. As human beings we are unable to really grasp the dimensions in a meta-universe, or say virtual world. And think about the fictional skin, hairstyles, clothes, …, oh NO.
Yet playing with AR when you are in the exhibition is another story. It breaks the concept of space and makes things funnier.
Talking about the game, I actually do not play video games anymore after living away from parents, in which way I found a real world to escape to rather than the fake electronic one. Hence I do not have the chance to try the Fortnite version. But I can safely bet there is a group of players who happen to be KAWS fans, and who are not in London. So enjoy the exhibition there.
The gift shop section is a little bit disappointing: only books available to buy. I will be more interested about mugs, scarves, and shirts etc. I do not really read books about pop art because when I am reading, I want to think; but when I am visiting pop art, eg KAWS, I do want to stop thinking for a brief moment. Just chill.
KAWS: NEW FICTION
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