The pandemic has forced artists and arts organizations around the world to explore alternate paths to engage and connect with audiences for programs, exhibitions, and performances. Brooklyn’s Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MoCADA) has proven to be at the forefront of pushing the boundaries of innovation with Dennis Osadebe’sInside Out, the museum’s first fully digital show. With Inside Out, MoCADA is transformed into a digitally immersive experience full of Osadebe’s post-pop technicolor images, navigated both on the walls, through VR headsets, and Playful Rebellion, an interactive video game installation.
“My background in art, media, and technology always has me in pursuit of digital innovation. MoCADA had begun collaboration with our Paris-based agency on our virtual gallery even prior to Covid and pushed it full steam ahead when we temporarily closed our doors in 2020 due to the rising threat of the pandemic. We are thrilled to work with an artist such as Dennis Osadebe to present an exhibition which is changing the way we interact with art as a whole, making it more equitable and accessible to a broader audience during this time,” shares Amy Andrieux, Executive Director and Chief Curator of MoCADA.
To fully realize their virtual exhibition platform, MoCADA collaborated with the Paris-based Art + Technology agency, ArtGence, to provide a unique “real gallery” virtual experience with a Zoom feature to enable the audience to view artwork in detail, full-screen display, and to rotate around sculptures. The virtual platform allows viewers to navigate a personalized experience through the 3D website, providing an intimate way to view art and accompanying interactive worksheets with contacts, e-commerce options, and social media sharing for all works.
Osadebe’s Inside Out consists of a virtual exhibition of works spanning his career thus far, alongside an installation and the world debut of Playful Rebellion, an interactive video game developed by the artist over the past year which reflects on the power of play in bringing people together, strengthening the community, and challenging injustice.
“MoCADA is providing options for those who prefer to venture to our physical space or explore from home with the arcade-like installation which delves into the ordinary lives that Osadebe turns into provocative, post-pop technicolor fantasies. Through this lens, the metaphysical seeps through traditional Nigerian masks donned by each of his characters, as viewers witness Osadebe’s resilient seedlings uproot broken systems to birth new ways of living, whether they are in protest or at rest,” adds Andrieux.
MoCADA will soon unveil the 2.0 edition of its virtual platform, which will allow viewers to walk through the room of the exhibition as if they were truly in-person with an affordable limited-edition foldable VR headset to explore this and future exhibits on their own in a VR world. As the digital art space continues to evolve and grow for organizations globally, MoCADA sits at the forefront of innovation while maintaining its mission to always explore “ways to foster a dynamic space for the creation and continuous evolution of culture.”