The PLOT x Guy Simpson ‘Down the passage to the left’

Last week we saw the opening of a particularly gripping, AR-focused exhibition at the ALT section of the Investec Cape Town Art Fair ‘22. Hosted by The PLOT, ‘Down the passage to the left’ is a solo show by visual artist Guy Simpson. The show lives as an augmented virtual reality experience, which is accessible via QR scanning. Each drawing made by the artist is stitched together in a sequence, which creates an endless digital scroll. The kernel of this body of work is shaped by Simpson’s curiosity about social media trends, algorithms and virtual archives. His drawings, which depict imaginary moments of recent International art fairs, are each designed as curatorial ‘mis en abyme’ scenes.

Guy Simpson, a conceptual artist, and Alumni of the Creative Academy, produces work with a curious outlook on social media platforms and the ever-growing accessibility to online worlds. In his line of work, Simpson’s fundamental style is born from a love of cartoons and pokes similarities from the likes of the popular New Yorker cartoons, which is known to represent the quintessence of satire and irony. This series of drawings by Simpson, assembles a visual language of objects and space which are translated into an opulent landscape of greyscale scenes.

The artist explains, ‘A lot of the inspirations for the spaces I find, are from Pinterest. I am on there usually looking at homes. Because of Pinterest, we are so familiar with these recognisable Pinterest-worthy homes that are constantly being photographed and then shared. Things like the skirting and the lights that I add in these spaces, integrate a sense of familiarity. Also, fun note, there are never spectators [in these drawings].’

Art Basel 2021
The Armory Show 2021

Founded in 2020 by Alex Coetzee, Max Melvill and Ashleigh Killa, The PLOT is an online gallery that collaborates with artists and art organizations with the goal to produce unique phygital art experiences. The term phygital is often used to refer to what bridges the gap between the physical world and the digital. In our increasingly online era, the online presentation of art has become standard practice. Regardless of one’s medium, or field of interest, all artworks are at some stage reduced to the limits of our screens. The PLOT was founded with the interest to challenge this culture by exploring alternative and innovative art formats that aim to uniquely complement our experiences of reality (not replace it).

In order to create a more immersive and dynamic relationship between physical artworks and how we experience them online, the gallery uses various virtual tools, such as, AR, VR, and ‘360 image making’.

Photo cred: Micha Konrad @casademicha
Frieze London 2021

Working closely with each artist, The PLOT performs to formulate new art formats as a means to enhance existing art narratives and explore new ones. With this in mind, Simpson explains his feelings about bringing his drawings to life, ‘I started to fill up these rooms with the artworks that I liked, and the artists that I liked. They then became these rooms of desire. They became these places where I can own these works or imagine them in a home that I cannot get to. That was interesting to me.’

Click the link to explore Simpson’s unique phygital exhibition: 
IG: @the_plot_gallery

To follow the artist:
IG: @guysimpson

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