Medrar for contemporary art

8 May 2022 - 21 May 2022


 VR art projects 

Opening 8 May 2022 at 7 pm 

Running daily except Fridays from 8 to 21 May from 1 to 9 pm at Medrar’s new space 

Medrar’s new address: 10 Gamal Al Din Abou Al Mahasen, Garden City, 8th floor

Medrar is happy to invite you to the opening of the first exhibition of the MEDRX program: the VIORAMA exhibition. You will finally have the opportunity to walk through the installations and room-scale VR and experience through VR headsets the immersive projects created by the participants throughout the VIORAMA lab. 

Viorama is a Virtual reality (VR) Lab and Exhibition aimed for artists to explore through lectures and hands-on activities the potential of VR audiovisual tools in relation to their arts practises, reflect on concepts of VR and new formats of narration, and prototype and implement VR-based projects to be showcased in an immersive exhibition. The Viorama Lab was led by Dutch instructor Daniel Ernst with the contribution of guest speakers Morehshin Allahyar, Jesse Cumming, George Zakaria and Ahmed Sabbour, alongside the technical support of Karim Ehab and Youssef Abusamra from 412labs.  

Dioramas have a longstanding tradition in museums, where they depict all kinds of spectacular and often impossible scenes. If you visit the museum a week from now, that exact same moment of the diorama will be there for you to visit. The gazelle would still be eaten by the lion and the dinosaur is still sinking into a tarpit. They are moments stuck in time like a mosquito caught in ember.

The most important aspect of Virtual Reality is presence. Presence in this sense encompasses both the physical and mental occupation of a virtual space. The more presence a VR experience provides, the more a player can disconnect himself from the real world to accept the virtual actuality as a new reality. But this takes time. Time that dioramas have plenty of.

Unlike “real” dioramas, VR dioramas allow you to step past the restrictive glass and into the scene. You can experience the emotion that is depicted, without experiencing the pressure of a linear story that is barreling to its conclusion. You are there and you have all the time in this world to cross into this new reality. The only thing you have to do is be somewhere else.

Following an open call, 6 participants were selected -Malak Yacout, Ahmed Nader, Mohamed Maghraby, Dina Jereidini, Zeiad Aboghali and Aya Tarek. Throughout the 6 weeks, the Viorama Lab participants got the chance to work on their dioramas based on a distinct and personal moment. They were handed tools and techniques to create a finished VR diorama from the early inception of an idea to a fully working interactive VR experience. The topics discussed include thumbnailing, greyboxing, animation & interaction design, audio and music, post processing, and narrative design. 

Visual identity and graphic design: Lana Kurdi

*This program falls under Medrar for Contemporary Art’s newly launched MedRX, an umbrella project consisting of a series of activities (workshops,  labs, exhibitions, screenings, meet-up sessions etc) aiming at building a bridge between artists and XR technologies. 

The VIORAMA Lab and Exhibition is organized by Medrar with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Egypt and Culture Resource المورد الثقافي, in partnership with the Creative School Cairo (Ryerson Cairo) and 412Labs.