Federal State Budgetary Institution of Culture National Drama Theatre of Russia (Alexandrinsky Theatre)


XR-exhibition «Expanding Reality. Beyond the Stage. Artistic World of Valery Fokin’s Performances at the Alexandrinsky Theatre» based on the New Stage XR mobile application.

In February 2021, in celebration of Valery Fokin’s 75th anniversary, the Alexandrinsky Theatre prepared an exhibition project, «Expanding Reality. Beyond the Stage. Artistic World of V. Fokin’s Performances at the Alexandrinsky Theatre», at the New Stage. The exhibition in the foyer of the New Stage featured props, costumes, and scenery fragments, which formed a retrospective map of the performances staged by Valery Fokin at the «Alexandrinka» from 2002 to 2021. A specially created XR application immersed the audience in the digital part of the exhibition where characters and images of Fokin’s performances were presented in maximum proximity to the viewer, assuming the form of a digital statement. The digital part of the exposition introduced the possibilities of presenting performances in the XR application. Having started from the position of an outside observer, the viewer is transported to the very centre of the stage action: in the mode of viewing a panoramic video, one moves to the skating rink from «The Marriage», appears among the evoked characters of Commedia del Arte in «Masquerade. Remembrance of the Future», can have a close look at the scenery of «Stalin. The Genesis», and becomes the only viewer in the hall of the “Alexandrinka”, surrounded by huge Gogols from «Nevsky Prospect. Urban Etudes». Objects from Gogol’s dreams, created in 3D graphics, fragments of the characters’ memories and fantasies come to life on the phone screen; iconic characters from Fokin’s performances become closer and more textured, available for a detailed study. The digital format abolishes the fourth wall; the viewer’s role shifts from inactive to active as he or she endeavors to decipher the cultural code of Fokin’s performances, to unravel the metaphysical riddles of the master’s productions and to find the entry point into the director’s artistic reality.
Curators Selena Volkonskaya, Anastasia Brukhanova, application development Philip Guzeyev, Anna Tolkacheva, shooting 360, creating 3D objects Andrey Nosov, video creation and editing Victoria Otsvera, Anton Yakhontov, exhibition and application design Yana Marudova. Goal: Expansion of reality and search for new forms of entry into the digital world is one of the current trends for today, so the project team pays special attention to the development of projects in this area. The goals include exploring new territories of the theatre — expanding the semantic boundaries and fixing the forms that are possible in the digital space; expanding geographical boundaries: viewers anywhere in the country or the world can connect with the present, past and future of the oldest dramatic theatre in Russia; introducing viewers to modern technology, as well as immersion in the new experience of perception and communication.