Text by: Steve Piccolo
From 30 November 2016 to 5 February 2017 various spaces in the city of Milan are presenting a major retrospective for the 90th birthday of the internationally acclaimed sculptor Arnaldo Pomodoro. The most dramatic space is the Sala dei Cariatidi of Palazzo Reale, where the glowing bronze spheres with their corroded surfaces revealing a mysteriously complex internal anatomy have been beautifully installed.
On the way into the main section of the show at Palazzo Reale visitors can enjoy an experience of “virtual reality” using HTC Vive and Samsung Gear VR headsets. The bells and whistles are not are not deployed for their own sake, in this case. Pomodoro created an underground labyrinth in the building that used to house his Foundation (now occupied by a fashion firm), but the sculptural environment is only rarely open to the public. To include the labyrinth in the show, the artist decided to commission a VR version, calling on multidisciplinary artist Oliver Pavicevic for the 3D visuals and artist-musician Steve Piccolo for the sounds.
The result is “Labyr-into,” a truly surprising experience that during the exhibition has also become a sort of introduction to a wider public of the potential of virtual reality technologies.
In the photos, the original labyrinth, and people trying out the two versions of the VR experience prepared by the artists. Curator: Eugenio Alberti Schatz.
Listen to Steve Piccolo’s audio mockup of the virtual labyrinth (the actual soundtrack is never the same, because the holophonic sounds emerge as the visitor explores the virtual space).