The Bell Jar VR

Archai Virtualis

In the fully immersive world of virtual reality, The Bell Jar offers a liminal encounter with the soma and psychology of Other and Self; a translucent membrane between seen and unseen on the thresholds of psychic encounters, surreal apparitions, epiphanies and dystopian dreams. Housed in a virtual museum, the two crystal-glass figures rise in parallel and perfect harmony from a circular pedestal of polished concrete. Autonomous and precarious, they lean-in to the point of breaking; they bow to one another but do not touch. Frozen in a balletic pas de deux, the figures crystallise the tension between yearning bodies, as if real-world pandemic rules on physical distancing infiltrated the virtual sphere.

Secluded in the realm of virtual reality, The Bell Jar pays homage to a novel of the same name by Sylvia Plath, 'The Bell Jar' (1963). Navigating unpredictable and unknowable states of mind and being, Plath’s iconclastic work explores the soul and will of a free-thinking woman at the thresholds of autonomy, dependence and sanity in a patriarchal world. In this vein and beyond, the virtual sculpture engages and critiques invisible structural constraints while delivering euphoric avenues for escape and release.