The Visit, realistic simulation of a reality that already exists


The elderly Viv notices our presence and invites us to sit in her kitchen, right there in front of her, where she can see us. Thus began the interactive video experience “The Visit“, born from the collaboration of the artist Volker Kuchelmeister with colleagues and psychologists who, on the occasion of The Big Anxiety Festival, created a life-size photorealistic, animated character that drags the viewer as a whole into the sometimes frightening world of dementia. This disease, of which so little is known, represents one of the greatest western health emergencies of our time capable of concealing very serious threats: solitude, marginalisation, irreversibility, fear, oblivion. In Viv’s kitchen, the viewer experiences – without any possibility of relief from discomfort – the normality, the welcome, but also the incongruent reflections, hallucinations and instabilities of a dementia patient. Viv is animated by the real patients with whom the Felt Experience and Empathy Lab research project team came into contact. A single non-real person, who within an artistic project of denunciation, as well as research, tells the story of thousands of real people, immersed in an unreal reality, distorted by a tragic, yet non-violent, cognitive decline. A 3D world like a movie, or a bad dream, or the slow progression of an incurable disease. Benedetta Sabatini


Volker Kuchelmeister – The Visit