Simon Denny opens Metaverse Landscapes at Frans Masereel Centrum

The exhibition runs 2 July – 1 October 2023.

One of the first glimpses of the metaverse to enter the mainstream was of an orb-shaped house made almost entirely of glass, furnished with sports memorabilia, a catsuit, a spacesuit, skis and a surfboard, as well as a full-scale observatory. Golden-hour sunlight poured across the space and distant birdsong could be heard from the surrounding landscape: an archipelago of climates and terrains, with snow-covered pine forests only a short kayak ride away from deserted tropical islands. “It has an incredibly inspiring view of whatever you find most beautiful,” Mark Zuckerberg extolled in the launch video of Meta, like a real estate agent giving a tour of his premium property.

In a solo exhibition, Simon Denny presents his own take on Metaverse Landscapes and investigates the private and corporate property interests that have already begun subdividing the digital world. In a series of works that combine oil painting with UV printing methods, Denny depicts privately owned properties within various metaverses: Otherside, Decentraland and Somnium Space, among others. Across these works, it is clear that ‘landscape’ means something more like ‘marketplace’, and that the “inspiring view” the metaverse offers has much in common with the pictorial language European colonisers imposed upon the so-called New World—an aesthetic Denny calls “early settler meets early adopter.”

Recent News

A mural, commissioned for the Wairoa Centennial Library in 1962 and painted by E. Mervyn Taylor, is set to be auctioned this week, but it is unlikely that proceeds will go to the flood-ravaged community. Dr Bronwyn Holloway-Smith reports.
The twelve-week festival of free-to-view public art will run from 25 November 2023 to 17 February 2024.
The one-night screening will include seven short works from the 1980s by the pioneering queer filmmaker.
After two-years of development, Toi MAHARA looks ahead to its new programme in Waikanae’s growing cultural precinct.
The exhibition will bring together works from some of Aotearoa's leading female modernists.
Now in its 27th year, NZ Sculpture OnShore features more than 120 artworks by emerging and established artists from all over Aotearoa New Zealand.


Darcell Apelu to present Carry Me with You, opening 28 October.
OF THE TIME will run from 19-29 October at Carriageworks in Sydney, featuring new work by Rosanna Raymond, Brooke Stamp and Latai Taumoepeau.
Laura Preston writes on Richard Frater's exhibition Off season at Kunstverein München in Munich.
This year's festival convenes around the idea of 'The Real Thing' and will feature work by Yvonne Todd and Telly Tuita.
For its thirty-second iteration, Primavera is back with work from six of Australia's most promising young artists.
The young choreographer explores collective memory and inherited violence in this performance made in collaboration with his family.
Toro Atua takes inspiration from the rock paintings of Te Waipounamu and is scheduled for completion in April 2024.
Juliet Carpenter and Julian Dashper will present new works at the exhibition, which responds to the work of Mutlu Çerkez.


Enjoy 15% Off

Your First Order