Labyrinth at EPOCH

Labyrinth at EPOCH

I’ve gotten lost in EPOCH’s Labyrinth more than once so far, after making four separate visits to the exhibition for various lengths of time. The virtual experience does the title justice, labyrinthine and dystopian in a way that feels engulfing—more The Legend of Zelda than an Ann Hamilton installation. This is the first time in EPOCH’s short life—it debuted in April 2020 and features group shows in VR surroundings built specially for each exhibition—that an artist in the exhibition has designed the exhibition infrastructure. Previously, gallery founder and artist Peter Wu+, who conceived of EPOCH for our era of pandemic, designed the exhibition environments, which allow viewers to either navigate at their own pace or let the screen shift all on its own. For this exhibition, the artist Amir Nikravan, whose IRL sculptural paintings intentionally mimic and riff on the visual language and flatness of Photoshop, designed Course (Expanded) (2020), the off-white, open-air maze in which the group exhibition hangs. The maze itself is virtually located in a magical autumn forest awash in filtered sunlight—a prophetic mimicking of our current orange-hazed and smoky skies.