Welcome to the first floating
VR Pavilion launched in
conjunction to the 58th Venice Biennial for Contemporary Art.

Staged at the Communist party centre and on a small boat,
the VR Pavilion takes a critical and site-specific approach to virtual reality technology.
Beyond being dedicated to Virtual Reality this pavilion is also itself an immersive environment, and as such, a Venetian Reality that calls into question obsolete notions of national representation.

 Artist Sara Tirelli.
Curator Jonatan Habib Engqvist
Commissioner The Nordic Art Association

“It was
the most ‘immersive’ experience
I’ve had all year”

FRIEZE, Matthew Mclean

Medusa is a 360-degree video work experienced through Virtual Reality glasses. The work describes a Europe in crisis and the events that take place in the film consist of a mixture of facts and fiction. Sara Tirelli has used news, social media, EU documents and interviews to portray the EU's identity as well as the prevailing situation for people on the run. The title of the work refers to the Greek myth of being petrified when looking into the eyes of gorgon Medusa. It can also be associated with Theodoré Gericault's art-historical work Medusas Raft (1818-1819). In the painting, shipwreck survivors reveal how people suffer from the poor decisions made by those in power. Medusa's Raft can also be linked to today's images of refugees who risk their lives on their way to Europe, while the inhabitants of Europe witness the events in front of a screen. There is a clear lineage between the painting and contemporary media's images of the refugee situation.

Large portions of Medusa were recorded at Borås Art Museum in Sweden, with a total of 63 actors involved. Among other things, Sara Tirelli worked with Agape, a voluntary organization for unaccompanied children and young people.
The work was produced with support from Borås Art Museum, Iaspis, Västra Götaland Region and Lindholmen Science Park.

The VR Pavilion is kindly supported by
Borås Konstmuseum,
NKF - Nordic Art Association - Sweden,
Venice Octopus stagecrafting and
All You Need is Sound