Frank Mohr Institute in collaboration with Rekencentrum Zernikeborg in Groningen
Quite by chance, during a general tour of the Zernikeborg computer facility, I discovered The Cave, which is the VR theatre of the University of Groningen. The space and its technical resources were used for scientific purposes or by architects, but had never before used for an art project. I was given the opportunity to create an experimental theatre performance, using the possibilities of virtual reality at the highest level.
Our technologically created world is the new cave of Plato. A series of rooms are projected on a round screen, connected by narrow corridors. The audience members wear 3D glasses, and imagine themselves in the projection. A person in front of the screen wanders through it. He seems alienated from his body, and speaks of an apparent death. He is in the twilight zone between being and not being. This most famous text by Shakespeare, the “to be or not to be” monologue, is performed by the actor in a number of different translations, from very old Dutch to contemporary Dutch. The hypermodern form of VR clashes with this classical and canonical text. The rooms each illuminate in their own way the theme of “appearances”; for example, there is a language space, an image space, a fake space, etc.
Frank Mohr Institute 2006
MFA Scenography grad project Wikke van Houwelingen