daze Landar has a new exhibit, Behind the Curtain, curated by Lucy Diamond and Max Butoh, at the dathuil Gallery of Art. The opening is this Sunday, August 7, at 12 PM SLT. It has become a bit of a tradition that I blog about the monthly dathuil exhibits and it is something I look forward to doing. I thought this time I would put a different spin on my monthly dathuil blog post. Below please find my interview with daze.
Kate Bergdorf: First, thank you very much for agreeing to do this little interview on such short notice. I know you are busy, especially at this time putting finishing touches on the dathuil exhibit, which opens on Sunday. I suspect part of the reason it takes time to put your exhibits together is because of your attention to detail, both in terms of technical aspects of each of the photographs themselves, but also in terms of the storytelling that holds the whole exhibit together so to speak. Share with us please how you go about putting an exhibit together?
daze Landar: The truth is I’ve never done anything quite like this where I wanted to carry a theme through the entire collection. Really I tend to just shoot what catches my eye, or strikes me emotionally in some way. But for this I wanted to tell a story. I set about it by writing down the characters and little ideas about who they would be and then created a list of the different images i knew i wanted to shoot. This time around it was pretty methodical.. and full of lists!
Kate Bergdorf: I have known you for a while now and when you and I met your photographs had already reached a level of sophistication that left me in awe. Tell us about how your fascination with virtual world photography began and what have inspired you to refine your style since you started?
daze Landar: I actually came into SL to learn how to use SL as a medium for illustration. Originally, years ago, I came in briefly to visit a friend but after seeing images on Flickr, I was amazed at the potential and came in to experiment. I come from a bit of an art background and have been working for a while now trying to learn the tools available. When I started I knew SO little I didn’t even know what questions to ask to get me where I wanted to go, but I was determined and so I’ve asked a lot of wonderful people a LOT of questions. I’ve found the SL art community pretty good about sharing and soak in everything I can. Recently, I feel like im hitting closer to where I want to go which is a more painterly illustrative style.. more how I would draw and paint in RL, but im not there yet.. I still have so much to learn!
Kate Bergdorf: I have to ask you about Flickr! People have such interesting and very different experiences with this remarkable photo-sharing platform. While some of us are more caught up in it than others, I think we all treasure the sense of community, inspiration and feed-back opportunity it provides. What are your thoughts on Flickr, specifically as it pertains to the Second Life community?
daze Landar: Flickr is interesting and has pros and cons like most things in life. Of course it brought me back to SL so that’s a good thing! For me, early on, I think it had some serious trappings. Like many creative people, I can be insecure about my work and I found myself judging my images based on how many “likes” they got. For a lot of people it can be really damaging and in some ways Flickr becomes a game in itself … that part I don’t like. But if you use it to share what you’ve done, learn from it (via constructive comments), take part in it as a community, make connections, have fun, then it can be a really powerful and positive forum. I love looking through people’s streams, finding new artists to follow, and goofing around with friends. I still like it when my work gets “likes” (let’s be honest here.. everyone enjoys that!) but I don’t count any more and it’s much healthier!
Kate Bergdorf: Let’s talk about the upcoming exhibit Behind the Curtain. I know you have a strong concept here that you have developed in great detail. Please tell us about this exhibit.
daze Landar: Well, it started out a little differently than it’s ended up. I’ve thought for a while about that we show ourselves in three pretty distinct ways… one who we are in public, one who we are with our closer circle and lastly who we are at our base self. I realized about half way through shooting that I wouldn’t have the opportunity to dive into this idea as closely as I would have liked, so I’m looking at this exhibit as more of an introduction to the characters and hope to build on it as time allows. The circus is a wonderful metaphor for life … especially as we like to be seen… colorful, full of life and energy, masked… perfect. Behind the Curtain is now the start of an SL soap opera and i hope everyone will enjoy it!
Kate Bergdorf: Thanks again so much my friend for taking the time for this! Can’t wait for the opening on Sunday, really looking forward to it.
daze Landar: Kate, you’re so welcome and thank you for not only taking the time to talk with me, but for your time given for the exhibit and for your friendship. Working on the images over the last month has allowed me time with you and other friends and that means the world to me! If i may, I’d also like to thank a few other people who have been instrumental. Of course Max Butoh and Lucy Diamond who invited me to show. Wendy Xeno and Syn Beresford for letting me take over their sims for periods of time, you, Lucy Diamond, Elizabeth Nantes, Keane Addison, and my partner, Owen Landar, for all the words encouragement, letting me vent, lending me stuffs, and for modeling.