Watch This Space

Contemporary art meets augmented reality in an immersive large-scale exhibition that knows no bounds – literally.

In an era of perpetual wanderlust, armchair travel, and a life lived more virtually than ever before, a figurative Russian artist by the name of Marina Fedorova is redefining what a night of gallery hopping looks like. Her Cosmodreams exhibition is currently running at the famed Erarta in Saint Petersburg, the largest private museum of contemporary art in Russia. Here awaits a fast-paced conceptual journey through space as the artist explores the world of earthly glamour ‘invaded’ by outer space through her latest series of paintings. The first-of-its-kind project is centred around the artist’s views, thoughts, and perceptions relating to the beauty of cosmic landscapes, technological progress and its implications for life on Earth, social adjustment, and the legacy left to future generations.

But this showcase is about so much more than the oversized paintings on display. Equal parts immersive and inclusive, it aims to engage viewers in an imaginary space civilisation through life-size sculptures, virtual reality, augmented reality, video art, and interactive walls. Viewers are also able to take a 360° virtual tour via the Cosmosdreams. The tour is geared towards those keen to explore new environments beyond museum walls and offers a self-guided walk in real time through an intergalactic museum exhibiting artworks by Marina. Determined to reach art enthusiasts far and wide, she believes that since the new generation increasingly explores the world through virtual reality, the latter should spark a desire for learning rather than replace actual life.

Cosmodreams is rife with the artist’s instantly recognisable aesthetic. For the uninitiated: Marina’s style is inspired by the glossy magazines of the 1990s, Hollywood films, and Instagram trends – and reflective of her background in fashion design and illustration. She associates herself with the graceful and seemingly vulnerable heroines seen in her works, all of whom possess great inner strength. Having said that, a closer look reveals just how distinct they are. Some of them bear the artist’s signature tragic and glamorous beauties who colonise outer space donning evening gowns and high heels. Others appear to dwell in a dream-like deep space without spacesuits, relishing the freedom of flight. As for the recurring theme? A child-like trust in outer space as well as their own present and future – a sensation that effectively carries over to the viewer.

The Cosmodreams exhibition will run until November 1, 2020. Find more details here.

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