Dead City is an interactive VR story combining film narrative with operatic components. Its storyline and libretto reference Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s eponymous 1920 opera. The original version was set in Bruges, while the contemporary Dead City takes place in pandemic-stricken Warsaw: empty, depressive and nostalgic.
Paweł, the story’s main protagonist, tries to bid farewell to his recently departed wife by visiting sites important to their relationship. We see the house where they both lived, their favourite cinema Iluzjon, a date set in the Palace of Culture, the palm tree that was once a symbol of their first vacation together, PKP Powiśle local train station where they first met, InterContinental hotel offering panoramic views of Warsaw, Zbawiciela Square. Finally we visit the place of their farewell, the murky waters of Vistula River next to Świętokrzyski bridge, in which Paweł dissolves, becoming a morphing, dark space. All this to the accompaniment of his beloved Maria’s voice, bidding him farewell by saying: “Everything is a memory, nothings dies, because there is nothing, stay calm, nothing dies, because there is nothing and there is everything.”