Being a giant insect for a while

Goethe Institute in Bratislava is hosting a virtual reality project inspired by Franz Kafka’s novella The Metamorphosis.

VRwandlung (Source: Courtesy of Goethe Institute)

In a corner of the library in the Goethe Institute in Bratislava, Martina Obšitníková receives special glasses, headphones, gloves and slippers. This outfit transfers her into the virtual room of salesman Gregor Samsa from one of the best-known works of Franz Kafka, the novella The Metamorphosis. As she moves around, she just realises that she does not have arms and legs any more, but insect limbs. A glance at the mirror reveals the truth – she has transformed into a huge, ugly insect.

“When I saw that I have insect limbs, it was not so strange, but when I saw myself in the mirror, I became frightened,” said Obšitníková after she took off the outfit. “I did not expect something like this. It looked highly realistic.”

VR for virtual reality

In the novella Kafka describes the feelings of a travelling salesman, Gregor Samsa, who awakes one morning transformed into a gigantic insect, the reader not getting any answer as to how and why this has happened. Kafka instead emphasizes how Smasa will come to terms with the transformation, how his parents will react and what his boss will say.

An American director living in Prague, Mika Johnson, teaming up with the Czech teams Achtung 4K and 4Each, created the project with art and animation as well as interactive objects for the local Goethe Institute.

“VRwandlung transfers Franz Kafka’s work from the pages of the book to virtual reality,” explains Johnson as cited on the website of the Goethe Institute. “The protagonist is no longer Gregor Samsa, but you.”

During the virtual visit, the visitor can wander around Samsa’s room and even pull out some drawers and look in the mirror.

The rest of this article is premium content at Spectator.sk
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on Spectator.sk
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on Sme.sk and Korzar.sk

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

So blue! Slovakia has another record in UNESCO

It is not easy to create a perfect blueprinted fabric.

Russia expels Slovak military diplomat

He must leave the country within 48 hours.

Illustrative stock photo

Slovak airports have unused potential

But several obstacles prevent their growth.

The Transport Ministry will receive more funds from the 2019 budget to support the development of airports in Slovakia.

How can we improve the integration of foreigners in Bratislava?

Municipalities recognise there is a lack of outreach on the part of administrators to foreigners, but the problem goes both ways.

Several foreigners attended the latest round table hosted by the Human Rights League.