Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley Invites You Into 'THE REBIRTHING ROOM'

A participatory exhibition that simultaneously researches the history of gaming and maps out the Black Trans experience.

Art
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Video games have come a long way since the days in which parents punished their kids for endlessly submerging themselves in Nintendo and Playstation, thinking it would lead them nowhere. Today, the global gaming industry as whole is estimated to be worth over $214b USD, with top e-sports players earning salaries in the millions. But you don’t need to be professional gamer to enjoy the world-building and immersion that, at its core, is what the best titles have to offer.

For Afro-British artist Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, the aesthetics and mechanics of gaming have served as a way in which she’s been able to archive and share the Trans experience. Similar to an MMORPG (multiplayer online role-playing game), Brathwaite-Shirley’s exhibitions immerse audiences amidst a digital playground, where simple questions prompts onlookers to ruminate on their choices in a simulated scene — from the experience of walking home at night as a Black Trans person to her latest show at London’s Studio Voltaire.

THE REBIRTHING ROOM is both a participatory exhibition and an archival look into the history of gaming as an art form and educational tool. Utilizing the latest in VR technology, Brathwaite-Shirley seeks to map out the Black Trans experience, by hacking a VR headset into a controller that audience members will collectively work together to navigate the space.

“Welcome to the REBIRTHING ROOM,” wrote a release, “A room which allows the viewers to come and be reborn in authenticity. This environment has not been made for your pleasure but instead as a purpose to give you a new life. Enter the space if you are ready to be reborn in the shadows.”

The exhibition will be on view in London until April 28, 2024.

Studio Voltaire
1A Nelsons Row,
London SW4 7JR

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