ALT.CITY – Abu Dhabi
Grégory Chatonsky @ Abu Dhabi Art


November 8 to 11, 2017 – Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi


The Institut français in the United Arab Emirates / Cultural Department of the French Embassy, presents Gregory Chatonsky’s installation “ALT.CITY – Abu Dhabi”. Mixing photography and virtual reality, the artist’s work invites us to immerse ourselves in a new perception of the city that questions our understanding of reality and virtuality. Based on on-site photography, cartographic resources and data available online, the artist creates new versions of Abu Dhabi. If this digitally generated city appears to be close to reality, it still differs in many aspects, triggering in the audience a feeling of both familiarity and strangeness. Through this installation, Grégory Chatonsky shakes our senses up in a digital environment that redefines the concept of territory.

Everywhere in the world tremendously big projects see the light. Megacities get organized at a big scale modifying the life conditions of millions of people. Abu Dhabi is one of the main laboratories of this transformation of space and time. How can the residents own their spatial livelihoods? Is it possible to collectively make decisions about urban transformations? How can we predict the destruction of a place and the construction of another?

ALT.CITY suggests to open a poetic space upon this reversal and immerses us in that imaginary world through virtual reality which explores an alternative version to Abu Dhabi. Based on thousands of photographs taken in the city by the artist, an imaginary version of the place is automatically generated by a computer that opens news possibilities of representation. Abu Dhabi becomes a generated image from the town’s real memory. A new vision, without ground nor boundaries, and devoid of any limit from above and underneath, the city appears to spread in all directions.

For more information about Abu Dhabi Art : click here