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A new hybrid edition for Recto VRso festival in 2021

The digital art festival Recto VRso to be held both in virtual and physical during the Laval Virtual VR/AR exhibition

In 2021, the digital art festival Recto VRso will be both virtual and physical.

Crédits photos : Prisma / Laval Virtual

In 2021, the international digital art festival Recto VRso, created by Laval Virtual, will be hybrid. Facing the health crisis, and to echo the transformation of art over the past year, the festival will have two parts: a virtual one on 14-16 April in the Laval Virtual World, and a physical restitution in July during the Laval Virtual exhibition. Judith Guez, founder and director of Recto VRso, explains the format of this 4th edition.

How is this 4th edition of Recto VRso, digital art festival, different from the previous ones?

This year, the 4th edition is a bit particular. Recto VRso questions the format of the event itself bu bursting into time an space. The festival will consist of a virtual part in April, and a physical restitution in July. These two times will question the different emerging forms of virtual exhibition and of variation of the online art works that we can observe in this particular crisis context.

What does the first part of the festival in April consist of?

On April 14-16, there is 3 days of virtual conferences in the Laval Virtual World, on those thoughts about digital art and the current context. The programme gathers players of the digital and contemporary artistic scenes (cultural institutions, galleries, museums, artists, researchers).

We will begin a reflection on all the questions we’ve been asking ourselves since 2020: how did many virtual exhibitions spaces emerge? How did museums and art galleries adapt? How to make the link with the with the art history of Net Art? In parallel, there will be an artistic celebration with several events around selected artworks, online performances, etc.

After the virtual, comes the physical. What is the programme of this second act?

On July 7-11, during the Laval Virtual exhibition, there will be a physical restitution of all the reflections led in April, in the Musée-École du Jardin de la Perrine. For the exhibition, we will select about 10 online art works and present them in real. We will also update the 2020 virtual gallery with the 2021 artworks. Invited artists will also add their projects to the gallery. Visitors can visit it during the festival, and online the rest of the year.

Each year, Recto VRso carries out a reflection on a specific theme. What is the theme in 2021?

In 2021, the theme is “Virtual exhibition / Real exhibition” – Online art. We want to question the current context. We are seeing more and more real exhibitions that adapt to the virtual format, and other being entirely imagined with virtual codes. Artists readapt their artworks so they can be presented online and at distance.

The new format of Recto VRso in 2021 is an opportunity to explore those new subjects. Last year, we couldn’t exhibit the artworks in real, like the previous editions. Instead, we quickly created a virtual gallery in which we adapted the presentation of real artworks in a virtual space. This year, we want to do the opposite! We want to highlight artworks made to be virtual. During the restitution in July, we and the artists will think about how we can exhibit those virtual artworks in a physical space.

This theme is of great interest at a time when we can’t go to cultural venues and see exhibitions anymore. There have been changes in the way art is made and shown.

For sure! This 4th edition also looks back at the entire period of 2020. Since its creation in 2018, Recto VRso highlights the latest news in terms of artistic emergences that can be observed. I also always try to echo the history of art and its evolution. This explains the choice of this year’s theme about online art. This theme questions the very idea of the diffusion of art. Artists doing online art use Internet both as a tool for creation and exhibition. In 2021, we want to see what emerges from these new practices and also what drives artistic research forward. This edition closes all this reflection on the period we are have been living for a year now.

How can artists submit their artworks for the 2021 edition of Recto VRso?

In mid-Frebruary, we launched a call for projects on online art. This refers to persistent worlds, video games, virtual galleries, online performances, open-source art, etc. On the Recto VRso website, there will be a online exhibition with the projects received about online art sorted by categories. Following the call for projects, we will make a very wide selection to exhibit it on our website. Then, we will select about ten of them, which will be presented in July during the physical festival. The call for projects ends on 20th March 2021 and artworks must be accessible via an Internet link.

About author

Content editor at Laval Virtual. Obsessed with adverbs and punctuation, synonyms and keywords are my daily guides. I hunt innovative use cases about VR/AR and immersive tech.
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