Maren Dagny Juell is an artist working in moving images, installation, and virtual reality. Her Virtual Reality work is immersive experiences where a physical gallery space acts as an abstracted double of the Virtual Space. You navigate both spaces simultaneously. Maren seeks to activate the hardware and the engagement of VR with performative aspects, instructions, and an institutional setting where the expectation of behaviour is established as rules/habits. She is concerned with embodied cognition in institutional spaces. In these spaces, she questions how we relate to demands on the body and mind that are imposed on us in subtle ways and expose methods of control and pressure you cannot see.
Currently based just outside Oslo, Norway she received her MA from Chelsea College of Art (London) and has exhibited widely. Including solo shows at Tenthaus, Atelier Nord Oslo, Trafo Kunsthall, Trøndelag Senter For Samtidskunst, Akershus Kunstnersenter, Podium Oslo and group shows at Bergen Center for Electronic Arts, Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Stavanger Kunstmuseum and Riga Photography Biennial 2020 among others. Moving image works have been screened internationally including The Australian video Biennial in Melbourne.
I work with Virtual Reality (VR), film, sculpture, and installation. With absurdity and humor, the works deal with new technology and neoliberal language with a focus on human adaptability and agency. I construct scenarios and narratives borrowed from sci-fi literature, computer games, and online informational videos. These instructions are used as a disseminator of knowledge for optimisation; especially chances of survival, mental health and physical fitness.
In VR, I investigate embodiment by inviting the viewer to experience how the sensory apparatus can be effective in a virtual and physical space at the same time. This is used as an analogy for how the body is incorporated into economic power structures through language that praises flexibility and progression. By activating the instructions on how to use VR as part of the work, I investigate how one can improve oneself, via instructions. The fragility of the body in VR and the inclusion of hardware and tech is included as an essential parts of the work.