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Matter, non-matter, anti-matter

Curator: Corina L. Apostol

From 19 November to 16 January, visitors can experience an innovative virtual installation of the legendary art exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe.


On Friday, 19 November, from 5 pm please join us for a panel discussion with artists Kristaps Ancāns, Laura Kuusk, and filmmaker and scholar Dr. Pia Tikka. The installation will be introduced by Lívia Nolasco-Rózsás (ZKM | Karlsruhe), initiator and head of the project Beyond Matter. The panel discussion will be moderated by Tallinn Art Hall curator Corina L. Apostol.


The installation Matter, Non-Matter, Anti-Matter. Past Exhibitions as Digital Experiences is part of the large-scale cooperation project Beyond Matter – Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality, dedicated to novel, digital approaches to exhibition revival, documentation, and dissemination, as well as the artistic, curatorial and museological development of the opportunities presented by virtual representation.

Beyond Matter examines the possibility of exhibition revival through experiential methods of digital and spatial modelling based on the case studies of Les Immatériaux (Centre Pompidou, 1985), and Iconoclash (ZKM | Karlsruhe, 2002). Les Immatériaux and Iconoclash are complex thought experiments deployed through space in their respective ways and are both considered landmark shows of the past decades. With the aim of exploring the impact of computer-based information and the shaping of digital realities on all fields of knowledge, they applied innovative forms of juxtapositions between scientific, technological, and artistic practices. What’s more is that they heightened the possibility of the exhibition as a medium and an interface to a sharp level of reflection and creativity.


Exhibition spaces are physical locations of knowledge production and exchange where spatial qualities play an important role in the contextualization of information. Thus, the correlating virtual models preserve the physical spatial qualities, while also including digitized and born-digital content, be it artworks, artefacts, or additional information materials. To enhance the visitors’ experience of rediscovering the spatial constellations of past exhibitions, an immersive installation was developed. Immaterial Display facilitates the experiencing of past exhibitions through digital media, while also proposing an innovative approach on how to exhibit, curate, and mediate art by utilizing the exhibition as a medium and an interface. The interactive installation invites to revisit Les Immatériaux and Iconoclash in a novel way via two browser-based models presented in a custom-made immersive display through which a connection between virtual space and real space is established.


Moreover, it interconnects the two exhibitions with one another, while at the same time bridging the gap across time, space and spheres. For this reason, Immaterial Display is highly hybrid and its nature as a traveling installation is designed to be adaptable to each new location where it is received. In Tallinn, a prototype of the Immaterial Display will be presented, showing a first intermediate state of development. An online brochure will be published that will provide regularly updated information on the installation.


The project Beyond Matter – Cultural Heritage on the Verge of Virtual Reality is an international, collaborative, practice-based research project led by ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe in partnership with the Aalto University in Espoo, Centre Pompidou in Paris, Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art in Budapest, Tallinna Kunstihoone, and Tirana Art Lab – Center for Contemporary Art. The project is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union and German Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.


Matter, Non-Matter, Anti-Matter is conceived as a travelling installation, to be exhibited in 2021–2023 at the Tallinn Art Hall, Aalto University, Tirana Art Lab, ZKM | Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, and Centre Pompidou Paris. The installation will be exhibited at Tallinn Art Hall entry hall until January 16, 2022.