Erik Parker: Switchstance Bay, 2016

Erik Parker is known for his colourful palette and twisted motifs, that draw inspiration from a variety of elements; from American subculture, comic books and hip hop to a heavy art-historical tradition of among others Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon and Roy Lichtenstein. His acrylic paintings consist of chaos and fragmentation perfectly balanced in a jumble of colour.

‘Switchstance Bay’ unfolds Parker’s tropical universe from 2014; Foreign Resistance, previously only seen on a two-dimensional surface. When entering the Virtual Reality the participants find themselves at first sight in a lush surrounding with popping and unnatural colours – an artificial paradise created by Parker’s imagination.

However, the scene quickly turns into a dystopia while realizing that what one sees might be the prospects and consequences of climate changes and environmental problems. The purple water, the psychedelic colour of the trees, their leaves and the flowers and the unreal shadows make you wonder if this is a sight of a strange utopia or a dystopia. The old school dub and slash key music, that changes every time you pass through the doorway of the cave to arrive at the shore, underlines the uncanny of the atmosphere. Regardless of how you feel about the setting though, it is undoubtedly a fascinating pioneering virtual reality.