theVOV Season One: Revive the Archive
19 April – 11 July 2021
15 Institutions | 15 Virtual Exhibitions | 27 Artists
theVOV is a joint initiative by art-science collective Visualogical and philanthropic foundation Outset Contemporary Art Fund.
For Season One, theVOV brought together 15 of the UK’s leading arts organisations to virtually revive landmark exhibitions that were gathering ‘digital dust’ in their archives – until now. Season One of theVOV was powered by Vortic technology, with customised spaces and environments.
Season One included the return of Chris Burden’s iconic 14 Magnolia Doubles to South London Gallery after 15 years; a virtual rehanging of Andreas Gursky’s first major UK retrospective at the Hayward Gallery in 2018; Yinka Shonibare CBE RA’s open air installation at Yorkshire Sculpture Park 2013; Lisa Brice’s 2018 Art Now exhibition at Tate Britain; a group show of female artists curated by Hikari Yokoyama with Sarabande; and the haunting assemblage of Ibrahim Mahama’s Parliament of Ghost at The Whitworth in 2019.
Season One of theVOV was completely free to the public, with a donation option available. All funds raised were distributed equally between the participating institutions, reflecting theVOS’s ethos of art access for all to support the creative sector.
The exhibitions came to life with a programme of live events and experiences throughout the season which can still be viewed at theVOV.
Ralph Rugoff, Director of the Hayward Gallery gave an online talk as part of theVOV, during which he commented on using Vortic to explore alternative curations while digitally installing the Andreas Gursky exhibition, “I can’t resist saying that it’s a heck of a lot easier installing a digital show – these photographs often weighed 250 – 300 kilos, the large ones, because the frames are so heavy. And it’s a very slow process when you’re installing a show like this, because it takes four strong people to lift one of these up, then you wait for them to hang it, and then you’ve got to step back and see if it’s at the right place, and then then you hang the next picture and you decide those two don’t really look good together. Digitally of course you can move things around the room, very very quickly. I was amazed how easy it was to actually install this exhibition – so that was a really different kind of experience
“I think it was great to revisit the exhibition. We have 15 pictures here, there were over 60 in the exhibition and they weren’t hung in this order. So anytime you put two or three pictures in a row you create a different set of meanings and associations that come out and you notice different things.
“I think it’s always going to be a way to enhance our online experience, but I think it’s never going to be a substitute for actually going and looking in a gallery. But I do think that it’s a wonderful way to revisit a show that you might have already seen, or to experience a show before you go and make you think – ok I’m going to really want to look out for this.”
National Galleries of Scotland
South London Gallery
The Photographers’ Gallery
Yorkshire Sculpture Park
theVOV in the press
The Art Newspaper – ‘Miss an exhibition at Tate or the Hayward Gallery? Catch up on shows from the past on new digital platform for the ‘phygital era”
Wallpaper* – ‘Leading UK arts institutions digitally revive landmark exhibitions’
FAD Magazine – ’15 Leading UK arts institutions to digitally revive landmark exhibitions for a new virtual arts ecosystem’
Header image: theVOV’s virtual presentation of Andreas Gursky’s 2018 solo exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on Vortic.
Video: theVOV’s virtual presentation of Andreas Gursky’s 2018 solo exhibition at the Hayward Gallery on Vortic, theVOV’s virtual presentation of Hurvin Anderson, Reporting Back, at IKON on Vortic, theVOV’s virtual presentation of Chris Burden, 14 Magnolia Doubles, at the South London Gallery on Vortic.