Jess Johnson and Simon Ward
National Gallery of Australia
5 May – 26 August 2018
"TERMINUS, a collaborative exhibition by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, opened Friday 4 May at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra. The centrepiece of the exhibition is five new virtual reality artworks housed within bespoke structures situated on a full-scale tessellated floor map. Commissioned by the NGA and the Balnaves Foundation.
With their pioneering use of virtual reality, Johnson and Ward hold a unique position among contemporary art practitioners. Johnson’s drawings are transformed from analogue into digital, and from solo practice into cross-disciplinary collaboration. Animated by Ward and enriched with input from developer Kenny Smith and sound composer Andrew Clarke, the result is TERMINUS: a mysterious universe of alien architecture populated by humanoid clones and cryptic symbols, explored via a network of travellators and gateways.
TERMINUS presents a quest, a choose-your-own adventure into the technological. Prepare yourself for a slippage of time and space as your journey propels you across five distinct realms: you will pass through Fleshold Crossing; take respite in Known Unknown; lose yourself within Scumm Engine; bravely face impending danger in the tower of Gog & Magog; and experience the brink of sensory overload in the psychedelic scenes of Tumblewych. The mysteries of what you ultimately seek will be revealed: an understanding that reality is not fixed but both malleable and multiple." NGA press release