WHIST is described as an hour long ‘experience’ that combines Virtual Reality (VR), physical theatre, sculpture and music used to explore multiple perspectives of one family’s story. It has received glowing reviews from The Guardian (UK), Vice and Creative review. All of these seem to agree that WHIST is pushing the boundaries of how we engage with art. By taking multimedia to the technological extreme, it seems to be foreshadowing a new genre of interactive artworks.
In the show itself, real abstract sculptures trigger the virtual reality experiences and so create a dialogue between the real and virtual. Described by some as unsettling and unnerving, WHIST is heavily inspired by the work of Sigmund Freud and creates a surrealist environment that aims to push the viewer into their subconscious. Conventions of perception and understanding cannot function normally in the liminal world the directors of the project have created. They bring the art of dance and physical theatre closer to the viewer through the use of VR, which
makes the audience active participants in their own experience. This autonomy in shaping experience contrasts with overall effect of a journey into a dreamlike, subconscious state. This is
intentional, however, as the viewers want us to question the power of the subconscious mind in
determining our actions.
Dreams have forever been a source of fascination for surrealists, Salvador Dali’s own obsession with Freud’s work on the subconscious is a clear example, and so it is interesting to see this topic get a modern update. As a whole this promises to be a really unique show, both for it’s subject matter and execution. It seems to be well worth registering for a ticket and looking into the workshops and talks the production company will be running. All the information required is below.
WHIST will be running hourly from 1PM to 8PM (with a break at 4PM) from August the 10th to 12th, and then again from August the 16th-19th. It will be at Wisma Yeap Chor EE on China Street Ghaut. Although the event is free, registration is required, and can be done here https://grabapop.com/events/whist. It is worth noting that under 16’s must be accompanied by an adult.
AΦE, the creators of WHIST, will also be running three workshops. The first is a Physical Theatre workshop focused one for kids between 3 and 12 on 11th August (9:30-11:00AM). The second will be a 360 Dance Filmmaking Workshop for Adults on the 12th August and the final one is a talk by the creators discussing their creative process and inspiration. This will be on the evening of the 16th of August. More information can be found here https://georgetownfestival.com/programmes/whist-workshops-talk and registration for all three can be found here https://grabapop.com/tickets/shows/5b32085ad6ebff5b1a4187d4#_=_.
By Ella Benson Easton