Turn invisible with London’s Unreal City

With museums and galleries in a state of flux with the global pandemic, the art world looks for new ways to show its wares. 

Words Sabina Sysantos
Photography Supplied

If 2020 hasn’t already made you lose all sense of what’s real, Acute Art’s upcoming exhibition might do the trick. From 8 December, London will be adorned with 36 sculptures arranged as a walking tour along the River Thames. The catch, however? They’re all invisible. 

Acute Art and Dazed Media have partnered to create Unreal City, London’s first augmented reality exhibition. The group show will feature dynamic, large-scale works of art that are only viewable via smartphone. They won’t actually exist IRL, but you’ll still need to be in the physical space to access them. To reveal the creations, simply download the Acute Art app and scan the red buoys set on 24 locations across the city’s Southbank. Think Pokémon Go, but for art.  

Included in the line-up are artists Bjarne Melgaard, Nina Chanel Abney, Olafur Eliasson, Cao Fei, Alicja Kwade, Koo Jeong A, and Marco Brambilla, among others. 

Acute Art is an organisation that provides contemporary artists with access to technologies that allow them to translate their creative vision into the worlds of virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality. As galleries and museums around the world remain closed, Acute Art’s AR exhibition is an innovative solution to keep art accessible and engaging in these times.

Caring Northern Light ​and Lucky Stone by Olafur Eliasson, 2020;
Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

Cheese Man by Bjarne Melgaard, 2020;
Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.

The Eternal Wave by Cao Fei, 2020;
Courtesy of the artist and Acute Art.


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