Software Development

A VR-forward Frida Kahlo exhibit is coming to the district

The exhibit, opening next week, uses virtual reality tohelp tell the story of artist Frida Kahlo and her relationship with Diego Rivera.

The new exhibit will use VR to tell the story of Frida Kahlo.

(Courtesy image)

Update: This article has been updated since publication to clarify that the VR option is available to those who purchase either a VIP ticket or an on-site VR upgrade. (8/15/2022, 10:28 a.m.)

If you’ve ever wondered how art will look in the Web3 era (beyond our current NFT-driven reality), a new art exhibit is testing the waters of artistic virtual reality (VR) through the works of iconic Mexican artists.

Entertainment search platform Fever and tech company Brain Hunter are launching a new exhibit this month that incorporates VR, among digital assets. The exhibit is called “Mexican Geniuses: A Frida and Diego Immersive Experience,” and covers the life and works of Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera. The exhibit, which launches on Aug. 19, will run for six months at 1235 W Street NE in DC.

Fever said the show features 100 CGI assets alongside 400 images of artworks and photographs. The VR portion comes at the end via a nine-minute, fictionalized video that follows Kahlo and Rivera on a final journey through the afterlife. The hope is that visitors, with the help of ambisonic sound, will feel like they’re really traveling alongside the pair’s spirits in the VR video.

Altogether, it took a team of almost 20 different creatives, art directors, art historians, 3D modelers and developers to create the VR video. With this unique component, audiovisual technical lead Laura Hernández said that the team wanted to showcase a different point of view of Kahlo, as well as help audiences explore her and Rivera in a new way.

“It’s a great exhibition compared to other ones because allows you to experience the art in a different way,” Hernández told Technical.ly. “For me, that’s the important or different part or element [to take away] from this exhibition.”

In general, Hernández thinks that the merging of technology and is here to stay, especially in virtual reality. But she sees democratizing the technology, to make it accessible to everyone of all ages, as equally important. That belief informed why the collaborators landed on a nine-minute video: She said it’s an ideal length for everyone to enjoy the experience without feeling dizzy or unnecessarily disoriented. The exhibit also provides VR headsets, so anyone who purchases either a VIP ticket or an on-site VR upgrade can watch.

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As the technology grows, Hernández believes that it will be increasingly used in the museum world, with more attention on using tech in exhibits for adults than ever before.

“In the future, we are going to see much more interactive technology in the museums,” Hernández said. “It could be a step back because a few years ago, museums — especially science museums — had a lot of technology and interactive elements for kids. I think that the next step would be that kind of technology-related museum and experience for adults, not just for kids.”

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