Virtual Reality Art Exhibition
“One Sunday Afternoon”
Apr 1-May 30, 2021
Viñedo Dos Búhos, San Miguel de Allende
415 124 7583
By Melanie Harris
One Sunday afternoon while enjoying a beautiful Spring day Yuliya Lanina heard the pandemic knocking at her door threatening to change the life she so delicately held in balance. This was the day that reality started to be redefined–is it safe to go outside, will her twins ever go back to in-person school, will she be able to visit her convalescing father? As the days turned into weeks the bad news kept coming: cancelled performances, cancelled residencies, the daily struggle of home-schooling while trying to create art and teach courses online. Lanina was an artist who finds connection through live performances (such as “Unmasked” the one she did at Teatro Santa Ana in June 2019) where she could connect with the audience and now all venues were closed.
Times changed for us all on that same Sunday or somewhere in the proximity of it. As Lanina changed so did the way she created art both in purpose and in content. For one, she started working on small collages that she mailed to medical professionals working in COVID wards as a message of solidarity and in memory of her mother who was a doctor. A guiding principle of her artistic approach has always been to form an authentic connection, and this need to reach others intensified during the pandemic almost as a reaction to the restrictions being forced upon her.
Work online, doctor visits online, school online, groceries online, family online–everything online became our collective modus operandi. Lanina embraced the metaphorical sprouting of this screen-appendage as a device for sharing her artwork. As an animator she had already dominated the screen and had moved past it and into it as an active performer who would immerse herself into her animations. With galleries and museums closed Lanina’s focus re-centered on helping her audience to transcend the flat screen experiences they were now constantly having and to immerse themselves in art in a safe and singular way via the screen. This was the birth of her new virtual reality collaboration, “One Sunday Afternoon.”
“One Sunday Afternoon” is a three minute immersion into the fantastical world of Lanina. This semi-performative artwork has collaborations with Chris Osley (sound design) and with MJ Johns (unity development). The virtual reality experience is akin to walking into her paintings and discovering her fantastical subconscious. Each guest to the performance will receive a virtual reality headset and earphones that will be disinfected with alcohol between uses for a safe experience. You will then be escorted to a beautiful patch of nature by the vineyard to enjoy the 360-degree immersion. The experience is free but requires a reservation by following the link here: www.contemplo.mx/programatuvisita. Other animations by the artist will be on view in the new CONtEMPLO art space in the vineyard´s chapel. Event curated by Melanie Harris de Maycotte.