Container is a hyperreal 180-degree spatial art installation that explores modern day slavery. Visual artist/visual anthropologist Meghna Singh and documentary filmmaker Simon Wood utilize the shipping container as consistent piece of architecture across space and time to create a spatial metaphor to viscerally connect the products shipped in these containers with the oppression and exploited human labor that’s invisible to consumers.
Container is a provocative & stylized piece of immersive storytelling that has created some visceral scenes of slavery that are deeply lodged into my memory. It pushes forward the grammar of immersive storytelling by combining art installation, history, theater, and 180-degree video to create a sort of poetic spatial anthropology that makes associative connections in an embodied and dreamlike fashion. The piece designed to implicate the audience into reflecting on how we may be unwittingly participating in systems of modern-day slavery, and the artists hope to take it to different film festivals around the world and create shipping container installations and showings at port cities involved in slave trade.
The piece is situated within the context of the port city of Cape Town, South Africa, but the piece also doesn’t have spoken words and so it’s generalizable to a global context.
I had a chance to talk remotely with co-directors Meghna Singh and documentary filmmaker Simon Wood to talk about their 4-year journey of producing this piece during it’s World Premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Container is one of the more evocative pieces of 180 or 360-degree video I’ve seen this year, and it is currently available at the Venice VR Expanded until September 19th.
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