There are some exhibitions that are must-sees for art fans. But fear not if you don't manage to catch them all, a new platform will soon be reviving them online. This latest initiative could help generate further revenues for what is now a struggling sector.
Guardian art critic, Tim Adams, gave a five-star review to "Ibrahim Mahama: Parliament of Ghosts" when it ran at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester in 2019. Now the exhibition will soon be revived on theVoV, a new online platform launched by the charity, Outset Contemporary Art Fund and the London collective, Visualogical. The digital portal is set to launch on April 19 with a 10-week program of exhibitions and live events. Outset Contemporary Art and Visualogical have teamed up with 15 of the UK's leading museums and galleries, including Hayward Gallery, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Tate, South London Gallery and Turner Contemporary.
Working in close collaboration with these institutions, theVoV has created bespoke virtual galleries for the exhibitions, some of whichh are exact replicas of the museums' physical galleries, while others are "fantastical otherworldly spaces that couldn't possibly exist in the physical realm," the platform's press release explains. The inaugural season on theVoV will feature exhibitions staged in the last 20 years in the UK, such as "Hurvin Anderson: reporting back", "Art Now: Lisa Brice", "Chris Burden at the South London Gallery", "Katie Paterson & JMW Turner: A place that exists only in moonlight" and "Jan Svoboda: Against the Light".
The "phygital era"
"The effects of the pandemic have been devastating on the cultural sector, but an increased appetite for exploring the digital realm offers new opportunities to open up the arts to truly global audiences, making culture unprecedentedly accessible. We believe that if harnessed sensitively and ethically, online experiences, and the communities generated through them, can not only complement the physical art world but actually further enrich it, leading to a cyclical, symbiotic, and sustainable ecosystem set to flourish far beyond the pandemic. Welcome to the 'Phygital Era'..." said Visualogical co-founders Natasha Hersham and Victoria Westerman.
All content on theVoV will be available free, but visitors to the portal will be invited to make a donation in a bid to raise funds for the participating institutions. "theVOV unlocks new streams of income for public arts organizations, helping them navigate the new challenge of monetizing digital content. Season One debuts a pioneering micro-philanthropic model, inviting users to donate to support the arts, with funds raised being distributed equally between the participating institutions, reinforcing the ethos of unity," explain Outset Contemporary Art et Visualogical.