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May 23rd, 2021 | by gibby zobel

A Guide to Virtual Reality: Top 6 Experiences on Art and Artists

For a few years now, VR content releases have been multiplying, and that's good news! Whether you are a beginner or not, here is a first guide to the best immersive content available - A selection by Gibby Zobel, filmmaker and journalist, who produces a regular alternative guide to the best content on the Quest 2.

Gibby's Guide is now available on its official website! (link)

The Dawn of Art (Pierre Zandrowicz)

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Black woolly rhinoceros locking horns, a quartet of horses, arctic musk oxen and a pride of lions. It must have been quite a shock when speleologist Jean-Marie Chauvet stepped into a cave in the South of France in 1994 and stepped back in time by 36,000 years. THE DAWN OF ART leads you inside what Werner Herzog has called the cave of forgotten dreams. A bear skull sits where it was carefully placed many, many millennia ago. The giant frescos - humanity's first masterpieces - are some of the oldest drawings in the world. Narrated by Daisy Ridley, the animals spring from the walls as sparks of fire - animating the originals drawn in charcoal and engraved into the limestone walls.

The Dreams of Henry Rousseau (Nicolas Autheman)

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‘I never went to Mexico, that was a lie I told people. In fact I’ve never been anywhere.’ It’s true. Henri Rousseau, famous for his depictions of tropical jungles, never left Paris. His psychedelic inspirations came only from the city’s botanical gardens. THE DREAMS OF HENRY ROUSSEAU, directed by Nicolas Autheman, leaves you in the greenhouse of the Jardin des Plantes after closing time and Rousseau’s shimmering art begins to reveal itself in the lush foliage. ‘I don’t feel afraid. There are other spirits in the forest, ' the narrator continues. The friendly face of a lion, the black snake charmer, the reclining nude - all figures from his most famous oil-on-canvas painting, ‘The Dream’.

Saturnism (Mihai Grecu)

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Terrifying animation of Francisco Goya's 'Saturn Devouring His Son'. SATURNISM, directed by Mihai Grecu, is a visceral experience set in a dark and barren landscape of fear and without hope of escape. As hideous as the original.

Cesare’s Dream – In the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Sebastian Mattukat)

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A century on from the expressionist silent film ‘The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari’, the mixed-media VR homage CESARE'S DREAM is still asking the same questions: 'What is a dream, what is reality and who is in control?'

The Sun by Edvard Munch (Gebrueder Beetz)

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Using the Ganzfeld effect of perceptual deprivation to create ‘hallucinations’ of colours, the experimental animation THE SUN attempts to recreate the intensity felt by Edvard Munch on seeing ‘The Sun. Using frequencies of sound and chromas that cut to white, your brain imprints their opposites on the blank canvas. Munch based his masterpiece on a sunrise on Norwegian coast, re-created here at the start of the film as a slow one-take time-lapse taken from the same spot, over a fjord in Kragerø.

Warning: This film features an optical technique that may be uncomfortable for some viewers

Dreams of Dali (Goodby Silverstein & Partners)

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A stone-cold classic must-see, Dreams of Dalí is an epic fly-through the trippy surrealism of the Spanish painter. It begins in the desert as an ant-sized father and child gaze up at two towering praying figures, the scene from his work ‘Archaeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus’. Although that painting is the anchor of the film, other iconic elements are introduced - a lobster phone rings under one of the towers, a girl is skipping rope, and the elephants on stilts trumpet under the crescent moon. With the echoing voice of Salvador himself, it's an obra maestra on it's own.

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