Dialling up the “wow” factor, that’s the aim. A great wave is washing over the art world across the globe, a wave that submerges everything, a wave of immersive installations. From the Japanese Team Lab collective to veteran Japanese Pop artist Yayoi Kusama and her “Infinity Mirror Room”, the use of lights, colours, reflections and moving images is all designed to encourage viewers to empty their minds and emit blissful ‘oh!’s and ‘ah!’s. This makes it impossible to decide whether the artistic offerings are really of any relevance: the brain is busy elsewhere, submerged.
Fortunately there is another kind of immersive art, one that is subtle, sensitive and indeed relevant. In London you can currently visit an exceptional example of this type. This total work of art, designed to run for six months up until 31 March, is called “The Oscar Wilde Temple” and occupies the entirety of the Studio Voltaire in Clapham. It is the brainchild of artists McDermott & McGough.