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MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina
Online Exhibition 
Feb 23- May 24, 2023

Thoreau Bakker,  Milumbe Haimbe ,  Elizabeth LaPensée and Weshoyot Alvitre (et. al),  Adrienne Matheuszik,  Tom Sherman,  Fallon Simard,  Xuan Ye. 

Can an exhibition be a game and the viewer a player? In the experiential online exhibition, THERE IS NO CENTRE, the visual language of gaming is adapted to explore how the presentation of an artwork in a digital environment shifts the viewer's role as a player and challenges traditional exhibition-making norms.

The exhibition's title is taken from the concept of the "Magic Circle," which refers to the idea that games exist within a separate, constructed reality with its own rules and dynamics. In this context, THERE IS NO CENTRE investigates what happens when the Magic Circle is applied to an art exhibition, transforming it into a game-like experience.

THERE IS NO CENTRE takes place in a virtual gallery composed of seven 'levels,' each hosting a 'solo show' for each artwork. This framing, inspired by the magic circle concept, invites viewers to explore and engage with the art pieces in a game-like environment.

By adopting the first-person player perspective, THERE IS NO CENTRE considers how the accepted norms and common mechanics of contemporary video gaming—choice-based moments, goal-less exploration, and even "loot boxes"—provide a more useful framing for interactive art experiences that enable a meta-awareness of the medium specificity of online exhibitions. This approach allows viewers to explore, interact, and play with artworks that span various practices, including video games, memes, 3D sculptures, VR landscapes, and video art.

By incorporating gaming norms and concepts into the exhibition, THERE IS NO CENTRE seeks to challenge and expand our understanding of digital art and its possibilities within the realm of interactive storytelling, point-and-click navigation, and human-machine relations.

Project funding from the Digital Strategy Fund via the Canada Council for the Arts. 
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