Art In America

Jeremy Couillard

at Louis B. James,
143b Orchard Street

The most uncanny part of wearing a virtual reality headset is looking down and not seeing a body: the gear reduces the wearer into a gutted gaze. Jeremy Couillard doesn't take that physical disconnect for granted; he used it as the launching pad for The Out of Body Experience (2015)—and perhaps that's what makes this the most compelling piece of VR art on view in New York right now. Don the headset and you find your avatar sitting in a model of the same gallery basement where you're seated, before your soul drifts upstairs through a psychedelic door to a fantastical undulating landscape populated by docile monsters and fabulous sculptures. You can't control the direction of movement, as you can in most VR experiences, but it seems wise of Couillard to think of it as a trip rather than an environment—transporting, rather than immersing, his audience. Viewings are by appointment, but walk-ins are welcome, and if there's a wait the upstairs gallery is a pleasant place to idle. Temporarily fitted with the gypsum ceiling tiles and hideous brown carpet of a clinic, it has trashy magazines to leaf through, coffee to sip, Couillard's art on the walls and his custom channel on TV. Who needs a headset to feel immersed when the gallery already does it?

 

More from the Lookout

Martha Friedman

at Andrea Rosen Gallery 2,
through Mar. 11
544 West 24th Street

“Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965”

at Grey Art Gallery,
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Mary Beth Edelson

at David Lewis,
through Mar. 19
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“Self-Interned, 1942: Noguchi in Poston War Relocation Center”

at the Isamu Noguchi Museum,
through Jan. 7
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Closing

David Reed

at Gagosian,
through Feb. 25
980 Madison Avenue

Kader Attia

at Lehmann Maupin,
through Mar. 4
201 Chrystie Street

David Diao

at Postmasters,
through Mar. 11
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“Looking Back: The Eleventh White Columns Annual”

at White Columns,
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320 West 13th Street

Johan Grimonprez

at Sean Kelly,
through Mar. 11
475 Tenth Avenue

“A Revolutionary Impulse: The Rise of the Russian Avant-Garde”

at the Museum of Modern Art,
through Mar. 12
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Pierre Chareau

at the Jewish Museum,
through Mar. 26
1109 Fifth Avenue

Heide Hatry

at Ubu Gallery,
through Mar. 7
416 East 59th Street

Closing

“Securing the Shadow: Posthumous Portraiture in America”

at the American Folk Art Museum,
through Feb. 26
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Peter Voulkos

at the Museum of Arts and Design,
through Mar. 25
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Giorgio de Chirico and Giulio Paolini

at The Center for Italian Modern Art,
through Jun. 24
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Arlene Shechet

at Frick Collection,
through Apr. 2
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