Bugging Out: A VR Journey Inside Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis VR, running through March 31st @ Goethe Institut Prague

A modern literary classic is thrust into the realm of innovative technology at the Goethe Institut in the heart of Prague. In the exhibition, Metamorphosis VR, running through March 31st, Franz Kafka’s famous novella is strikingly rendered in the interactive world of virtual reality.

The brainchild of artistic director Mika Johnson and a small startup team associated with the Prague Film School, Metamorphosis VR is breaking down the barriers of modern day exhibitions. Espoused in a small wing of the Goethe Institut, the VR experience can only be completed individually (in a five minute session).

Exhibition visitors are outfitted in sensory slippers, gloves, and the all-important headset. Moments later, the technology springs to life and participants awaken just as Gregor Samsa does in the body of a beetle, in his cramped bedroom. Participants then muddle their way around the room trying to maneuver their new body while angry parents shout from the other room.

Those familiar with The Metamorphosis can experience, just like Samsa, true absurdity and a disjointedness between body and mind. Other interactive activities in the exhibit include a virtual lecture by Reiner Stach, the author a new Kafka’s biography. “As an enthusiastic cinema-goer and viewer of stereoscopic images, [Kafka] imagined that one day a two-dimensional image would be fused with spatial effects to create a new, completely illusionary reality,” says Stach.

Franz Kafka (born 1883 in Prague) was a resident of the Jewish Quarter in Old Town, so Kafka’s longstanding history in Prague makes it a perfect place to pilot such a ground-breaking exhibit. Monuments to the famous German-Jewish writer, who died in 1924, are spread around the city.

Only minutes away from the Goethe Institut, you can find a large shining-steel rotating head of Kafka, by the artist David Cerny, just outside the Quadrio Shopping Center. There is also the Franz Kafka Museum in Mala Strana or his grave in the Jewish cemetery in Zizkov.

As a result of its sudden and overwhelming success, Metamorphosis VR, will not be ending in Prague. The exhibit will take its inventive approach to Kafka’s literary classic to other Goethe Institutes around the world, including Tallinn (April 9th), Athens (May 24th), Seoul (May 31st), Kiev (June 6th), and Melbourne (August 21-26th) before ending in Singapore (August 27-30th).

Metamorphosis VR
Closes March 31st

Goethe Institut
Open. Mon-Thurs 1-7, Fri 11-5
Closed Sat-Sun

Video on YouTube

Related articles

Facebook comments

Pražské Benátky

Enjoy Prague from a different view

The James Joyce Irish Pub

Best Irish Pub in Prague

Ristorante Casa de Carli

Authentic Italian cuisine in Prague

Charles Bridge Museum

Discover the history of Prague’s famous Charles Bridge

Trabant Museum Prague

Trabant Museum @ STK Motol

Army Museum Žižkov

Armádní muzeum Žižkov

National Memorial to the...

Národní památník hrdinů heydrichiády


Prague’s # 1 source for Czech news in English…


Digital lifestyle magazine platform promoting life in Prague.