Play - Videogame art and beyond, video games are on display at the Reggia di Venaria

Play - Videogame art and beyond, video games are on display at the Reggia di Venaria

Play - Videogame art and beyond

The Covid-19 pandemic and the consequent lockdown have upset the habits of many people, as well as the normal course of many activities, such as artistic ones. But even in difficulties, human beings have always found a way to bring out the good. In this case it also allowed people like Guido Curto, General Manager of the Consortium of Royal Savoy Residences, to realize the potential of video games. "During the lockdown I saw my grandchildren playing and socializing with their cousins," he said during the presentation of the Play - Videogame art and beyond exhibition, "and in this way they survived this difficult situation more easily than I have. I did, who risked having a crisis of claustrophobia. "

This prompted him to investigate more about this phenomenon that now involves more than 3 billion people in the world and moves more money than cinema and music. A phenomenon, however, not only commercial. As we all know, video games, even if they have not yet been officially defined as art, certainly contain within them the most classic disciplines such as music, architecture and painting, elements capable of making simpler comparisons and between the greats of the past and the most famous videogames.

The cover of Play - Videogame art and beyond As part of the plan to revive the Reggia di Venaria, one of the Savoy country residences that rises on the outskirts of Turin fallen into ruin for years and restored to its original beauty only recently, the General Director of the Consortium of the Royal Residences of Savoy has thought of a series of exhibitions that revolve around themes, to be enjoyed while visiting the splendid rooms of the palace or the its huge garden.

The theme of this year is the game and this is represented both in its origins, as a street game, with the shows of street vendors or games between children, and in its more modern evolutions, such as sport or , precisely, video games.

Among the contributions there was also that of a well-known face Fabio Viola, a game designer, teacher, essayist and founder of the collective, was called to take care of this last part international art TuoMuseo. He wanted to build a path that starts by showing how video game creators have always looked to art to inspire their own style and to look for solutions that could be interesting, then, also from a video-playful point of view.

Just think of Echochrome, a game that took the perspectives of Piranesi and Escher to create a puzzle game. Or Ico who is clearly inspired by De Chirico for his artistic style, the Great Wave of Hokusai which is the inspiration of the artists of Capcom for Okami or the video games of the 30s which are the reference of the recent Cuphead.

Play - Videogame art and beyond

The Great Wave of Hokusai and Okami The Play - Videogame art and beyond exhibition, however, does not want to be just this, it also wants to show how video games are a very fluid medium, which over the years it has increasingly lost the meaning of harp, to become even more. It is a malleable tool that, in the right hands, can carry completely different messages. With video games we can speak of death, as of life. You can do politics, denounce the war, but also simply entertain with puzzles or action games. You can consume them alone in your room, as well as in an arena with tens of thousands of other people passionate about the same export.

But video games can also be in turn a source of inspiration and contaminate the arts more canonical. The AES + F collective took inspiration from Half-Life to create a group of thematic statues, while the Free to Play work is inspired by the aesthetics of Candy Crush also to criticize the modern economic models of video games.

An interactive media

Ico and De Chirico These are some of the topics that are dealt with along this not particularly long and demanding path, perfect to be consumed while visiting the Reggia di Venaria and its surroundings. Play - Videogame arte and beyond is embellished with several original works, both in terms of art, there are two well-protected De Chiricos, and in terms of video games, present here with some original pieces by authors such as Yu Suzuki or Jesper Kyd o Christian Cantamessa.

Along the 12 rooms of the exhibition they will try to touch all these themes and beyond, with some interesting combinations, as well as a broader reading of this media and how it is able to touch multiple fields thanks to its uniqueness: the ability to be interactive. Also for this reason there will be some game stations to try these experiences firsthand, from PC with Paper Please to old cabinets, passing through a VR viewer with which to play Tetris Effect.

In case you are intrigued from this initiative, we remind you that Play - Videogame arte and beyond will be at the Reggia di Venaria from 22 July to 15 January 2023. You will find all the information about the exhibition and how to reach it on the official website.

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