all photos: Jeff Martin
Just walking into ARTECHOUSE feels, well, special. The 15,000 sq. ft space is hidden several layers underground, and the main gallery with its high ceilings and immaculate silence feels as if it was designed specifically to protect the delicate magic it hosts within. When Sandro Keresa and Tati Ana, founders of Art Soiree, stumbled upon it in 2015 while searching for a permanent space for their art+technology concept, it had stood empty for 25 odd years, its previous intended use, for a theatre, never completed.
Now, in 2017, ARTECHOUSE is officially opening its doors on June 1, with an inaugural exhibition that is bound to fill that Kusama/WONDER shaped hole in your heart. Well, at least in a way.
The first statement you see as you walk in announces: “Certain Art Cannot Be Described. It Must Be Seen And Experienced.” The addendum should probably state: certain art cannot be photographed. All the images you see here for the purpose of this story are, granted gorgeous, but don’t really express the experience of the space.
XYZT by Adrien M & Claire B, making its US debut as the first ever exhibition at ARTECHOUSE, is a journey through ten installations, defined by their coordinates: X (horizontal) Y (vertical) Z (depth) and T (time), and are intended to carry the essence of the potential place of that movement. The experience is fueled by research in the sensory relationship between the human body, digital objects in motion and the unexpectedly poignant connections between the two.
The beauty of it is that the exhibition shapes itself to the visitor. No person going through the XYZT is going to have the same experience. The installations bend, move, ripple and interact with you based on how you interact with them. Whether it is moving the pieces with your hands, running through a water simulation, rolling around in a sea of pixels, or sitting quietly while a letter constellation reacts to your stillness, what you do is up to you. No rules, beyond your imagination, apply.
The exhibition, which perfectly embodies the intersection of art and technology that ARTECHOUSE is hoping to champion, is gorgeous, but has a quiet, meditative quality which should not be interrupted by flashing camera lights, if possible. Sure, it is somehow mandatory to now let everyone know you saw something by sharing it but on a scale this intimate, with no time limitations, it would be a shame to not just try to get lost in it. XYZT invites you to use your hands and body not to get a shot, but to help make the art happen. Do as the artists intended.
ARTECHOUSE opens to public June 1st. XYZT is open daily through 4 p.m. for all ages, and 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. for 21+ access. Capacity is 30-50 people per session to allow for optimum engagement. Tickets are available on site and online.