‘It’s all wizards and elves, right? Dungeons & Dragons stuff?’ Such is the general response when you mention larp, or live-action role-play — the peculiarly Scandi pastime that conjures up images of people dressed up in the forest play-fighting with sticks. Well, they wouldn’t be completely wrong. It’s a weird world and with the help of artists it’s becoming even weirder.
In the past few years, larp has become more visible in mainstream culture. And in Britain, it has noticeably begun to infiltrate the art world, becoming popular among artists interested in the potential of play.
Major institutions such as Tate, the V&A and Serpentine Galleries have worked with artists who view larp as a solution to the longstanding issues of how to make ‘participatory’ art actually participatory.