art in july

art in july

There is so much going on in the Second Life art world right now, it’s hard to keep up. Besides the installation The Swamp (image of Bloody Hands – The Church avatar above, free at landing), by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, the photograph exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet, and the permanent Gallery M show The Other, by Mich Michabo, at my own gallery Berg by Nordan Art, there are some excellent art shows all over the grid.

There are two new shows at UTSA ArtSpace, curated by constructivIST Solo and Igor Ballyhoo; a collection of photographs by ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ and an installation by Romy Nayar. The new nineteen large mostly color, and a few black and white, photographs on display here by ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ are taken at The DNA Tower (Igor Ballyhoo), The Sacrificed Angel (Igor Ballyhoo), The Joy Formidable (Livio Korobase), Penumbra (CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur) and Empty Minds (Romy Nayar). They fit so well in the beautiful gallery build created by Igor. To me, each of ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦’s images has a dream-like quality, which draws me in and consistently holds my attention. There is a painterly quality to her work, which I think at this point has become a major aspect of her style. Bravo, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, such a strong collection. I never tire of looking at your photographs.

The installation Lamento by Romy Nayar consists of three parts. There is a small build in the gallery itself and two other parts accessible via teleport. Each little build consists of various figures, mostly women I think, that are part of a scene, displaying some form of metaphor. It’s hard to immediately grasp the meaning of these scenes, which all seem quite subjective, all in one way or another perhaps dealing with sadness or grief. To me, Romy’s work is becoming more and more surreal, which I like. There was always something magical about her installations and that has not changed.

There is a new exhibit, Creatures of Light, by Harbor Galaxy, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, at MetaLES. There are twenty large color images on display by Harbor in the intriguing MetaLES space. The space consists of a floor and walls enveloped in a solid, black velvet-like texture and a ceiling adorned with black and white geometric 3D shapes; dispersed in rows throughout are tall, white street-light-shaped poles. Ux and Romy, the talented curators of this place, continue recognizing that the environment housing the art plays an integral part of the overall display and presentation. Love it. It’s very modern and very much immersive virtual art. It struck me, when first viewing Harbor’s images from a distance, that they remind me of something the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock could have created. Looking closer, however, there is much more to it than that; the subject, lines, light and colors merge invisibly somehow. This is a change for Harbor from her previous style. She notes that [f]or those of you who are familiar with my work through Flickr or shows here inworld…CREATURES OF LIGHT may be something of a departure from my usual style. My objective was to use an avatar devoid of ornamentation and to only utilize poses, light and color to create these pieces and to give myself permission to play and to step outside my comfort zone. So great, Harbor; I am in awe of your utterly new and courageous  approach to virtual images.

There is a new exhibit, Absences, by Melusina Parkin, curated by Dido Haas, at Nitroglobus. Most of us know the images by Melusina from Flickr, where she regularly posts series of five or six photographs that display various themes. Her work is minimalist and I believe barely processed with any kind of photo-tools outside of Second Life. There is something incredibly captivating about viewing her series as each image provides a hint of an idea, but it is really the whole, all images in the series together, that leaves one with a lasting impression. The twelve large color images on display in the Nitroglobus address lack, specifically as it pertains to Second Life. Melusina notes about her exhibit that [a]bsence is a negative concept: it means that something should be there and it doesn’t. So, when we look at an empty place – a room, a seashore, a road or even a chair – we can’t avoid thinking of something or somebody who has been or will be there. That’s even more true when a world, including nature and landscape, is entirely made by humans, like Second Life does…[o]n the other hand, looking at empty spaces is stimulating: when humans aren’t there they can be everything. I love imagining what has happened in a place when people has gone. Or what will happen when it will be populated by people. Spaces and objects shape our behavior: they are the limits or the starts of our actions and of our imagination. This is a wonderful exhibit that should not be missed. Melusina’s photographs fit so beautifully in the Nitroglobus gallery, both compliment each other. Head over and take a look.

Let me end with a few comments about other noteworthy art events. The talented Imani Nayar has a new show, My Furillen, curated by Serene Footman, at Furillen. The exhibit Her and Him, by Hillany Scofield, at dathuil, has been extended over the summer months. There is a new multi-artist show, Beautiful Bizarre, at DaphneArts Gallery. DiXmiX Gallery had an opening of a retrospective group show, Best of 2016-2017, yesterday. There are regular rotating exhibits and weekend-themed events at the gallery Blue Orange, the most recent one, Vintage Circus Freak Show. Last, but not least, the Itakos Gallery has been awarded a LEA grant and the gallery relocated to a new sim, the LEA16 Itakos Project. The opening of the new location will take place tomorrow, Sunday, July 16, at 2PM SLT, make sure not to miss it.

As always when it comes to these monthly art reports, I feel I need to point out that there just is not enough time in the day to cover every exhibit. So there are great Second Life art shows out there that I didn’t cover, my apologies. Let me mention here also that I have rarely experienced as vibrant an art world as we see it right now in our metaverse. More than ever before, we see sim-sized installations and photograph exhibits of incredible quality, all pulled together in collaboration by visionary artists and compassionate curators. We are not getting any kind of monetary reward for doing this, we are all driven simply by the pleasure of creating and sharing art. Bravo, thank you to all and keep it coming!

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf
Exhibit posters by respective galleries and artists

Senna Coronet at Berg by Nordan Art

Opening this Sunday, July 9, at 11 AM SLT, at Berg by Nordan Art, is the exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet (in Second Life, Sennaspirit Coronet). I am pleased that Senna and I also found time for an interview, which is now published in my other blog, The Virtual Review. Senna has been active in SL since 2006. An avid, and one of our most outstanding, virtual world photographer, he notes that I once thought this image making thing in SL was a bit embarrassing, however, after 2 extended “holidays” away from SL I realized that I loved this part of my life and returned in both instances because I missed making images in SL. That’s the absolute truth. I missed my friends for sure, but the image making part was at the root of my return. I studied art in college and was always interested in the arts even from a young age. So, now that I’m not so young, I’m impressed that I’ve been consistently drawn to creative type endeavors and quite happy that Second Life provides a unique forum to get quench my creative thirst and do so with some really fantastic friends and creative types. No doubt, most of us creatives can relate to these words of wisdom about the virtual world and photography. I know I can.

Senna’s exhibit Loss is a deeply personal one, consisting of fourteen new images and dedicated to his friend and photographer Amona Savira, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Amona had agreed to show at Berg by Nordan Art for the period July through September 2017 and Senna graciously agreed to exhibit in her stead. About Loss Senna states that [t]his show is dedicated to my good friend Amona Savira, who left us earlier this year quite unexpectedly. Her passing was an absolute shock to me but sadly it was just one of a few losses I suffered this year. When Kate asked me to fill in this show slot that had been intended for Amona, I was happy to try and do it justice, even though other pressures didn’t seem to want me to complete it. I think what I experienced this year with all the events in my life, is that regardless of how tragic and harsh things can be, you cannot let things consume you and paralyze you. Suffering, remorse, sadness are all healthy emotions but they must not take over your life. Come join us in the gallery for the opening on Sunday. I will send out group announcements with information as we get closer to the date.

Exhibit poster by Senna Coronet

one family and art

Having an art sim I am fortunate enough to get to know the people who exhibit their work there. Everybody has a story and for a short moment we become part of each others’ stories. Some of the stories linger, or come to an end, others keep evolving. As of late, I find myself becoming a small part of a story so rich and meaningful that I want to share a part of it here. This is the story of a Portuguese family consisting of Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Takio Ra and Rita Eustáquio. Meilo, in the middle in photo above, is the mother of CapCat, left in the photo. CapCat and Takio (right in the photo) are married and have a daughter, Rita. Rita does not yet have an avatar, and is not depicted above, but rumor has it that she is thinking about creating one soon. Meilo  and CapCat have been producing art in Second Life since 2008. Most of you probably know them as the creators of the sim Delicatessen. As of this year, they are also permanent resident artists at Berg by Nordan Art. Their first installation, in January 2017, was Penumbra and opening tomorrow, The Swamp. Remarkably, all four contribute to these installations. It is a joint family art project. While CapCat and Meilo create the visible work (terraforming, building, avatars, etc.), Takio is responsible for the sound and Rita does voice. The Swamp is dark and unsettling, a powerful metaphor for fascism inspired by Cap’s and Meilo’s first hand revolution and post-revolution experiences in Portugal; I’ve been told that sound and voice are a particularly important aspect of this work, so when you visit, please make sure to turn it on.

CapCat (Catarina Carneiro de Sousa) successfully defended her thesis Virtual Corporeality and Shared Creativity and received her PhD in April this year. She also published an article, Mom and Me Through the Looking Glass, in Metaverse Creativity in 2012. Her article examines the collaborative work of CapCat and Meilo in Second Life, integrating the notion of shared creativity; [t]he aim is to describe and analyse their cooperative creative process from the perspective of one of the artists/authors, walking through three artistic works that were made in the Second Life® region of Delicatessen: ‘de Maria, de Mariana, de Madalena…’, ‘Petrified’ and ‘Meta_Body’. These projects reflect two aspects of the artists’ work on the one hand avatar art, and on the other the creation of virtual environments. The text also reflects on the concept of shared creativity, which the artists propose through their avatar creations. The article is worth reading in its entity as it is a great source of information for Second Life residents, artist and non-artists alike. It is also beautifully written and in so many ways mirrors the work by Cap and Meilo that we see in-world.  To me, the work of these two women (and Takio and Rita) reflects the essence of metaverse creativity and, no doubt, they are virtual world artist pioneers. I leave you here with a quote from the first part of CapCat’s article:

We are two metaverse avatars. We are also mother and daughter; I am CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur is my mother in real life. We are both artists, and as artists it seems that all through our lives we have been dealing with the same issues that we are now working on together in the Metaverse. When I was a little girl I used to love the Carnival holiday. In Portugal this is a time to dress up, and to imagine ourselves as the other… I remember my mother staying up all night working on these amazing seethrough butterfly wings for me. I think that these were the first avatars we ever made together.

 

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

coming up at berg by nordan art

There are several new exhibits coming up at Berg by Nordan Art . First in line is the new installation The Swamp by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, which opens on Sunday, June 4, at 10 AM SLT. The Nordan om Jordan sim will be closed to the public on June 2 and 3 for installation so please make sure to check out Penumbra before then if you haven’t already. The Amona Savira Memorial will be removed at that time also. About The Swamp, the artists note that it is a metaphor for fascism, from the point of view of Meilo Minotaur’s actual experience of fascism in Portugal, the Carnation Revolution, and the actual lived experience of CapCat Ragu from post-revolutionary Portugal. At a time when the crisis is trying to push us back into obscurantism is the moment to resist, to fight against the totalitarianism of capital, but never to return to fascism! Sound installation is by Takio Ra and voices by Rita Eustáquio. As is also the case with the current installation, The Swamp avatars will be available for free for gallery visitors.

Currently on view in the main gallery since the beginning of April is the show MYdigliani by daze Landar. daze’s show will be on display until the end of June. Beginning of July we have an exhibit by Senna Coronet, followed by a show by moon Edenbaum in October.  Mich Michabo is finishing up her new exhibit for Gallery M. As always, all parts of the gallery are accessible via teleport from the main Berg by Nordan Art gallery. Please be on the lookout in-world, as well on Flickr, for reminders and landmarks as we get closer to the opening dates. Lastly, make sure to post your photos taken at the gallery in the Berg by Nordan Art Flickr group.

Poster of The Swamp by CapCat Ragu
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Hot off the press: Berg by Nordan Art 2016

I am pleased to report here that we finally finished the new Berg by Nordan Art gallery retrospective book, Berg by Nordan Art 2016. This work would not have been possible without invaluable help by the ever so patient Huck Hax. It is always great when done with a big project like this and then spend time looking though what one has accomplished. Reflecting on the past year, I am so proud of what we have achieved with the gallery. The outstanding artistic contributions by Igor Ballyhoo, Livio Korobase, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, Imani Nayar, Haveit Neox, Mich Michabo, and Maloe Vansant speak for themselves. Thank you also to some of the many photographers who visited the gallery and took pictures of the art and let us use them for the book; Bay Addens, Midwinter’s Art, NawtyBiker, ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦, Miles Cantalou, and neko Makamori. A special thank you to Tutsy Navarathna who also contributed the beautiful cover photos. We hope you will enjoy the new publication Berg by Nordan Art 2016 as much as we have. You can read it by clicking the link above or visit Berg by Nordan Art in-world where you will find it on the table on the gallery ground floor together with our two previous retrospective publications from 2010-2011 and 2015.

Book cover photograph by Tutsy Navarathna; cover design by Huckleberry Hax

Coming Up at Berg by Nordan Art

Time flies, it seems. We have already come to an end of the first exhibit period for photography shows in the gallery. Many thanks to Huck Hax for the exhibit lacrimioare; I have received feedback from so many visitors who adored the show. The gallery will now be closed for a week as we are setting up a new exhibit by daze LandarMYdigliani, which will be on display for the next three months. The opening is on Sunday, April 9, 2017 at 10AM SLT and as usual our Nordan Art DJ Eif will provide tunes. The time has also come to bid farewell to the old gallery building, a build I put together myself a few years ago. The Berg by Nordan Art gallery will now instead be housed in space by Abiss that I think is incredibly well suited.

The installation Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, will be up for another month or so and then replaced by a new installation by CapCat and Meilo. The Amona Savira Memorial, put together by Senna Coronet, and part of Penumbra, will be taken down in May as well. The same is true for Mich Michabo’s The Other , which is on display in Gallery M; a new show by Mich is in the works and will also open some time in May. The gallery retrospective book Berg by Nordan Art 2016 is close to going to press and we hope to publish within the next few weeks.

We have seen blog posts, Flickr photos, and several machinima about the gallery, as well as received much positive feedback from gallery visitors themselves. Thank you. Thank you also for rating and commenting on the gallery using the Second Life Art kiosk located at the entrance; its rewarding to read the comments you write! As a reminder to new visitors, all parts of the gallery can be accessed from the main gallery in the sky and the teleports are located at the door. Please join our group Berg by Nordan Art inworld for updates and announcements about the gallery. Please post your photos taken at the gallery in the Berg by Nordan Art Flickr group

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

berg by nordan art: gallery changes

gallery-changes

As mentioned in a blog post a few weeks ago, there will be several changes made to Berg by Nordan Art, all effective starting April. First, I am happy to officially introduce Tutsy Navarathna as my co-manager and co-curator. Tutsy has already played an integral part in the gallery for the past years and it seems only fitting that he should now take on a more visible role. Our shared goal continues to be presenting you only with outstanding virtual art; photography, installations and machinima.  Gallery M, the permanent exhibit space for the artist Mich Michabo, will remain as is. Mich has been working on a new exhibit and I anticipate we will have the opening in a few months. The format of the Berg by Nordan Art gallery in the sky remains the same; we have four photographers per year, each showing their work for a period of three months. We will replace the current a bit dated gallery build with a new building by Abiss. L’annexe, which I have been using to exhibit my photographs, will become a space where Tutsy and I present collaborative work a few times per year. We have already started work on a new machinima. Last, but not least, I just received word that Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu have graciously agreed to permanently exhibit their installations on the ground. We will see two or more new installations by them per year, the next one some time in May or June. I have been an admirer of the work by Meilo and CapCat since I first came to SL in 2009. It is a great honor for me that they accepted our offer to become resident artists. That is all for now. Please check this blog, or join the group Berg by Nordan Art inworld, for updates and announcements.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu and Huckleberry Hax at Berg by Nordan Art

penumbrapostersl

We have two new exiting exhibits coming up at Berg by Nordan Art; one, the installation Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, and the other, a collection of photographs, lacrimioare, by Huckleberry Hax. The opening for both is on Sunday, January 8, at 9 AM SLT and the exhibits will on display until the end of March 2017.

The collaborating artists Meilo Minotaour and CapCat Ragu are familiar to most in Second Life. The two built the sim Delicatessen, that held projects like de Maria, de Mariana, de Madalena, Petrified and Meta_Body. Both have since 2008 devoted their artistic activities to the Metaverse, working individually and collaboratively in the Second Life virtual environment where they held several solo exhibitions and collaborated with artists from different fields and nationalities. Meilo Minotaur is an artist with a background in sculpture. She was as a member of the handicrafts group Gárgula, having participated in several international exhibitions and won various prizes. CapCat Ragu is an artist with a background in painting and art studies. She was a member of the artistic association Caldeira 213 and the artistic collective ZOiNA, having participated in the creation and organization of several artistic activities since. She is an assistant professor at Escola Superior de Educação do Instituto Politécnico de Viseu since 2007.

I am incredibly excited to show the very magical and awe-inspiring installation Penumbra by these two talented artists. Sound is an integral part of the installation so please make sure you have it on; voices are by Rita Eustáquio, Luís Eustáquio and Catarina Carneiro de Sousa. Sound capture and editing is by Takio Ra. We also highly recommend using the region windlight London 2026. There are several free avatars available and you can get them by touching the cocoon, or  sitting and clicking on the first tree and the caterpillars. Please read and respect the license of the avatars you are given. About their installation Penumbra then, the Meilo and CatCat note that [t]he old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born: now is the time of monsters.” This is, usually, the quote we most see attributed to Antonio Gramsci, the Italian theorist, politician, and freedom fighter. However, this is not the true quote. In Italian, what Gramsci wrote in Quaderni del carcere (Prison Notebooks) was: “La crisi consiste appunto nel fatto che il vecchio muore e il nuovo non può nascere: in questo interregno si verificano i fenomeni morbosi piú svariati.”. This would more accurately translate to: “Crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born, in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” But Prison Notebooks suffered several translation mutations, such as: “Le vieux monde se meurt, le nouveau monde tarde à apparaître et dans ce clair-obscur surgissent les monstres.” This mutation was carried over to portuguese translation: “O velho mundo agoniza; o novo mundo tarda a nascer, e, nesse claro-escuro, irrompem os monstros”. Back to English, this would translate to “The old world is dying, the new world is slow to appear and in this chiaroscuro the monsters arise.” The word “penumbra” exists both in English and Portuguese. It means partial illumination, a chiaroscuro, the dusk. Going back to the original quote, this penumbra, this forest, is the interregno, mutated by the flux of words in translation, adding poetic resonance to Gramsci’s pragmatism. Beware of the “morbid symptoms” you might embody!

huck-hax-poster

Huckleberry Hax’s fine photography exhibit lacrimioare (which means “Lily” in Roman), is his first. It is such an honor for me to show the work of this mulit-talented artist and close friend. Most of you may know Huck as a writer and publisher of numerous virtual world inspired works and, more recently, also a machinima-maker and builder. Over the past year or so we have also seen an increased activity by Huck on Flickr and his beautiful photographs have quickly become popular. About his exhibit lacrimioare, Huck provides a poem and notes that it is about [t]he new absence of someone loved.

For Lily.

she wobbles at the edge of the drop
crouched, reaching
she takes a fistful of dirt from the box
kisses her soiled fingers
and sobs
and throws it down
savagely
upon polished wood and white petals

Both exhibits will be open until the end of March 2017, at which time we are planning some changes for the gallery. But more about this to come at a later time. For now, hope to see you all on Sunday, at which time sim will again open its doors to the public.