The cross-media installation "Roadrunner and Rauhfaser" combines analogue-haptic and virtual-induced sensory perception to create an immersive experience. The result is a textile room-within-a-room installation that is also a portal to the corresponding virtual reality.
Johanna Mangold's exhibition Roadrunner und Rauhfaser deals with the nocturnal dream in terms of concept, content and media. Her intention is to focus on that area of life that is (at least partially) shaped by the unconscious and plays a marginalised role in the rationalised structures of the Western world. The artistic challenge lies in translating its immateriality, speechlessness and often only atmospheric, distorted or fragmentary thingness into the visual arts.
The digital medium of virtual reality (VR) is in many ways predestined for this, as VR itself becomes a somnolent event for visitors. In addition, for the artist, the subjective, abstract, immersive, yet intense and intangible experience of the dream is diametrically opposed to, and completely analogous to, the technical "materiality" of VR - consisting of bits, codes, vectors and pixels.
In accordance with her own development as an artist - once starting from painting as an analogue medium - in Johanna Mangold's exhibition "Roadrunner und Rauhfaser" the virtual-induced sensory perception intertwines with the analogue-haptic and interlocks as an environment: the central element of the overall installation is a rotunda, a room-within-a-room, installed on the ceiling. From a functional point of view, the rotunda is a protective space for the VR inside, or for the wearers of the VR glasses; aesthetically, it is a sculptural diorama viewed from the outside, consisting of graphic and three-dimensional elements made of wool and fabric - the associative analogy of "textile" and sleep is deliberately chosen. Figuratively, narratively and symbolically, inside and outside (in analogy to the waking and dreaming states) are in close interplay with each other and at the same time enable a specific, complementary perception. This setting, in turn, is embedded in the exuberant display of the exhibition space: The floor, ceiling and walls are covered with paintings to create an analogue, magical-realistic parallel world to VR in interaction with individual, selected objects in the room.
"Roadrunner und Raufaser" thus combines the artist's analogue and digital work for the first time in an aesthetically and conceptually stringently related overall installation. At the same time, it is a further development and continuation of her exploration of the central theme of dreams.
The basis for the exhibition was a research scholarship at Global Forest at the turn of the year 2021/22, where Mangold interviewed people in and around St. Georgen about their dreams, she gave suggestions for strengthening dream memory and for techniques for learning lucid dreaming. The artist draws on these dreams transcribed during the dream conversations in "Roadrunner und Rauhfaser".
/text by Viktoria Tiedeke, translated with DeepL, for the exhibition „Roadrunner und Rauhfaser“ at Global Forest e.V. St. Georgen in the Black Forest