The Wrap | Vibe exhibition | Juan Leon

Nemorin Film & Video was recently involved in an inspiring exhibition, ACTIVE ACTIVISM ACT by VIBE Experience, a programme that addresses the future of cultural curated consumption and experience for Gen Z, co-funded by Creative Europe and led by Elisava Research, Nemorin, Magma Cultura and

We spoke with Juan Leon, Executive Producer at Nemorin, who was heavily involved in the project from start to finish. Check out the interview below!

Tell us a bit about the exhibition

So Vibe is an ongoing creative body/project funded by the EU (Creative Europe MEDIA Programme). Vibe’s first baby was ACTIVE ACTIVISM ACT (AAA), which was an exhibition made for and by Generation Z. The idea for AAA was to give visibility to new forms of activism through new digital narrative formats. The show took place physically from April 25 to May 1 2022 in Barcelona and it was then live digitally until May 30, with access worldwide.

What was your role in the project and what did that involve?

I was the Audio Visual advisor member of the body, though all departments were challenged to really think outside the box of what they normally do. We all ended up being involved in aspects which we normally wouldn’t be in, which was both hectic and challenging, but very rewarding. 

There was over a full year of deep research and several workshops (both physical and hybrid due to Covid). The aim of this research was to boil down what Gen Z is interested in and how this process could help us give shape to the exhibition. Once decided, the Nemorin team created several of the installations for the exhibition in collaboration with the artists.

Was this project very different to what you usually work on?

This project was totally different from the formats I had worked on in the past. AAA proposes a new model of cultural consumption and content, putting youth activism at the forefront, to attract Generation Z audiences. This was so different from any agency brief we have ever had at Nemorin and was a fantastic challenge to keep us on our feet.

What was your favourite piece within the exhibition?

It’s so hard to choose a favourite! I really connected with Tashinga’s poetry piece and was happy we had such a format in the show. I also loved the idea of interactive wearables from By-Wire. But perhaps I’ll say Affirmations, as it was the first time I’d been involved in the creation of an immersive installation piece.

This piece consisted of an immersive projection of memes with pop culture images and provocative text. At the end of the video projection, the images melted away and the sound design created an unusual effect on audiences. Everyone seemed to enjoy this piece and I feel most Gen Z (and other generations) really connected to it, so it transcended the purpose/audience.

What are your hopes and ambitions for the exhibition/project? 

That we will be able to export this to other physical museums, so it can be experienced in different cities around the world. I would love to take it to London, for example. But also, Paris, and New York! I’d be very pleased if this new format of hybrid phygital (both physical and digital exhibitions) could be replicated and resonate with Gen Z in other areas of the world.

What was your favourite part about working on the project?

Hands down, working with Gen Z. It was incredible to work with young talent. I loved seeing them explore their possibilities and how they put to use the voice that they were given in the show. Every artist involved was a powerhouse of their own. It was incredibly inspiring to work with them and see things from their perspective. 

What sort of feedback have you had from the exhibition?

Most media feedback was very positive. In Spain, it was covered on a few news channels and throughout the press. Most reviews were very positive, which was fantastic to read. 

We also vox popped some younger exhibition goers, and I’d say pretty much every Gen Z piece of feedback was very positive.

But we also had feedback from older audiences stating that they didn’t quite get the phygital aspect of it. The digital part was hosted via WhatsApp, for example. Perhaps the fact that they didn’t get it is a good thing – the exhibition was not really meant to target that audience specifically.

What do you hope to have achieved from helping create the exhibition?

That new formats to consume culture are challenged. And that the disconnect between Gen Z creators and museums is breached. There is so much talent out there and so few routes for them.

Institutions also often tend to study a certain demographic group, then create a report, or an exhibition and state: ‘this is how you are, this is how Gen Z is, and this is what they want.’ Rarely those groups are given the power or voice to show who they are and what they stand for and represent with their own words. I’d love to think that this is what AAA achieved.

You can check out the Vibe highlight video here.

And check out Vibe’s coverage of the exhibition on their Instagram, by clicking here and following them for future updates.