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NEWS

Studio updates, current events, and archival posts from 2014-2017.

METANOIA: TURNING TOWARD THE LIGHT

  METANOIA : interactive virtual reality performance, image © 2018 Nathaniel Willson.

METANOIA: interactive virtual reality performance, image © 2018 Nathaniel Willson.

What began as a 27,000+ word artist statement in 2016 that mined my family's past through our shared addictions eventually morphed into a sculptural installation, performance piece, and virtual reality memoir called METANOIA. Staged in a self-help meeting, the presentation centered around a box-set containing a neon sign depicting my mom's name, a blown glass Makers Mark bottle produced from memory with Jason Christian, one cassette tape, a graphic novel made in collaboration with Cold Cube Press, and a Japanese edition of Blade Runner in a VHS format. From a metal folding chair placed within environmental set pieces, I performed an impromptu monologue about the past, present, and future while interacting with a virtual reality re-creation of my childhood kitchen generated by Grant Kirkpatrick and Fritz Rodriguez.

The Good Book says what is crooked cannot be straightened but life is like a spiral and we’re just spinning in time — like a snake shedding its skin over and over.
— Judith B. Chandler
  METANOIA : installation view, image © 2018 Nathaniel Willson.

METANOIA: installation view, image © 2018 Nathaniel Willson.

Last night I saw an exorcism. Or an intervention or maybe it was just a purge of some toxins. It was definitely something that changed the way I see today.
— Robert Yoder

In this work, I revealed aspects of myself as naked as I could. All veils lifted and what happened during the performance was more akin to a seance or occult ritual than anything else. A spell was cast that night — layer upon layer of negative feedback rolling off every person in the room. It wasn't art; it was real. For the first time, I felt a sense of freedom I had never known. Where once a demon lived in our house, clinging to our every fear, it now had no purchase.

  METANOIA : interactive virtual reality performance, image © 2018 Nathaniel Willson.

METANOIA: interactive virtual reality performance, image © 2018 Nathaniel Willson.


Ruth Keating Lockwood curated METANOIA with the generous support of Robert Yoder from SEASON for a residency at Oxbow that took place January 27-February 17, 2018. See the full set of selected exhibition images here.