The G.B.T.H. (Grab By The Horns) Project, curated by Marina Münter, opens tomorrow, Sunday, October 15 at 12PM SLT. Marina notes that the project is a proposal of occupation of abandoned spaces in the city with exhibitions, taking them to public spaces in counterpoint of the closed environment of a gallery or museum. The first show, or edition, is a collective exhibit named #mutualrespect part1, in which 16 photographers were invited to portray male vulnerability and asked to take a photo of a man they are close to, completely disarmed in a way only they can see. The photographers are, in no particular order, Marina Münter, Irina Fowrzy, Pari Dolia, Mich Michabo, Kate Bergdorf, Isa Messioptra, Catalina Staheli, Miu Miu Miu, Megan Prumier, Elodee, B. tomstone (aka Billie), kiki Ergenthal, Hillany Scofield, Wiona, Ania Baxton and Gartruth Garmonbozia. Marina explains about her project that the idea came when a friend that I adore told me that he can’t cry nor express feelings because it was not what people expected from him, and I am sure others can relate to it. The result turned out in an interest mix of images, from painful nudity to subtle sweet things like pollen allergy set up on broken concrete floor, hidden by tall buildings, ruins and sneaky, uncontrolled wild nature. The multi-talented Pari Dolia will DJ. Please be on the lookout for the G.B.T.H. Project poster on Flickr for the landmark that will be posted on the day of the opening.
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
There is certainly no lack of art exhibits in Second Life during this first month of summer. Besides the recently opened The Swamp , by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, the photograph exhibit MYdigliani by daze Landar, the permanent works at Gallery M by Mich Michabo, all at Berg by Nordan Art, there are several exhibits, as well as at least one major new sim-sized installation, to explore.
My first stop today is at dathuil where we find the exhibit Her and him, by Hillany Scofield, curated by Lucy Butoh and Max Butoh. This collection of photographs is the second part of a collaboration with moon Edenbaum, who showed his exhibit me_you here last month. I think there are sixteen color images here; some of them are very creatively mounted in the ceiling, I got dizzy counting, but I think I got it right. I really like this exhibit by hill.s. Not only do the images beautifully correspond with the works by moon, but they also convey a completely different kind of intimacy. hill.s notes about her exhibit that [o]n a day like any other she walks into that little café on the corner. She knows it`s never crowded at this time of day. when she grabs a coffee and her favorite lemon pie on her way home. But this day is unlike the other days and this man is unlike any other she had seen around here. And his presence felt different to all the others…. Each picture here truly does offer a peek into what feels like a deeply personal moment that is part of a story. There is also something homely about these photographs that I utterly adore. Head over and take a look before the exhibit closes on June 30.
There are two exhibits, one by Cipher and the other by Peep Sideshow, curated by CrankyGrit, in two small galleries on the newly opened sim The GoodLife. The little galleries are located right after you enter the sim, nested in decayed builds, one on the left and on one the right hand side of the street. Both spaces are intimate, displaying a handful of really good images by each photographer. Looking forward to more art exhibit on this sim, this is a great start.
Sina Souza is showing a collection of her own most favorite photographs at the Art Gallery The Eye. I’ve seen all these images before, but honestly, I never really tire of Sina’s work. Her painterly surrealist style always leaves me wanting more. Head over and take a look at these photographs, I am not really sure how long they will be up. Make sure to also check out Sina’s new work Mental Levels currently at MetaLES if you haven’t already.
Last, but certainly not least, there is an incredibly complex and beautiful installation, Flash Forward/Flash Backward, by Giovanna Cerise, curated by Dividni Shostakovich, at Split Screen. This is a multi-layered work, consisting of six connected parts; Dream, Point of View, The Desire, Lightness, The Impossible Choice and The Birth. All parts are accessible either by walking through the build itself or teleporting from one part to another. Extensive information about the exhibit, including landmarks to each space, is provided at the landing point. Wandering through this maze-like structure made me feel like I was part of a dream. There were times when I took a wrong turn and felt lost, but then found my way again. The surrounding flickering, shifting images and colors further contribute to the experience of being in a dream state. Giovanna notes about her work that it encompasses imagery from the past, present and future: Everything appears and disappears, in a game in and out, in the will to create alienation effects, restlessness, suspended in an allusive and visionary atmosphere. In this wandering, however, intimate glimpses appear as flashes that isolate and force them to stop. They are moments of stasis, breaks that interrupt the anxiety of trying. Objects that are reflected or evanescent figures metaphorically produce in the present vague suggestions. The installation, formed for the most part from simple geometric elements , is thus presented as a destructured form, almost shapeless with the intent to create chaotic and changing moments. Inside there are spaces that vanish in the complex but depending on the angle they are perfectly visible. A fantastic show, great in every detail, bravo Giovanna, really. Head over and take a look before the installation closes on July 31.
There are many other exhibits I did not cover here because there is simply not enough time. Let me just mention here though Itakos Art Gallery and DixMix Gallery, both of which always have regularly rotating photography exhibits by great artists. Also, rumor on the street has it that there is a great new group show coming up at UTSA ArtSpace (I know my friend ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ will part-take) so please be on the lookout for announcements.
Photographs by Kate Bergdorf
There are two excellent exhibits on the grid, both opening later today. The first one at dathuil, me_you, by moon Edenbaum with Hillany Scofield, curated by Lucy Butoh and Max Butoh (and a little bit by me), takes place at 12 PM SLT. We find here thirteen large photographs in color depicting subjects in various scenes that offer a glimpse into the lives of three characters in a story. moon notes about the exhibit that [a] woman and a man meet. they get closer, eventually they become lovers, but soon their inability to communicate leads to their split. The exhibit is a collaboration between hill.s and moon and next month we will see hill.s’ perspective at dathuil as well. This is a great, fresh concept; the images pull the viewers in and leave us wanting more. The photographs are gorgeous and in the typical, and at this point so recognizable, Edenbaum-style; realism at its best. Come join the opening today, and if not possible makes sure to visit before the exhibit closes at the end of the month.
The second outstanding exhibit opening today is at the Itakos Gallery, Subtle Scents of Solitute, by Imani Nayar and curated by Akim Alonzo. It opens at 1:30PM SLT. Let me just mention here again how much I enjoy the layout of this gallery; the austere and non-intrusive space is incredibly suitable for the display of photography (read more here). The exhibit itself consists of thirteen color as well as black and white photographs depicting single subjects. The talented Imani succeeds in combining composition, avatar posing, hues of color and shades, as well as blur, to create a tangible sense of loneliness and/or of solitude in every single image here. Describing her exhibit, she quotes the author Kent Nerburn: loneliness is like sitting in an empty room and being aware of the space around you. it is a condition of separateness. solitude is becoming one with the space around you. it is a condition of union. loneliness is small, solitude is large. loneliness closes in around you, solitude expands toward the infinite. loneliness has its root in words, in an internal conversation nobody answers. solitude has its roots in the great silence of eternity. I don’t think I am alone feeling touched by Imani’s work. Her photographs just feels so acutely real.
Photographs by Kate Bergdorf
There is lots going on as usual in our vibrant SL art world. Besides the two exhibits Penumbra, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, and the exhibit lacrimioare by Huck Hax at Berg by Nordan Art there are several other noteworthy shows. First, we have the new installation Burning, by Cica Ghost. It has been months since we saw work by Cica and I am really happy to see she is back. Burning is a sim consisting of burnt down buildings and fire damaged trees, surrounded by fire as well as a few dry bushes scattered throughout. There is a gloomy feeling to this place, yet also a at the same time a beautiful sense of melancholy and sweetness so recognizable in all of Cica’s work.
Another installation worth visiting is the multilayered fractal work No Frontiers at LEA16 by Gem Preiz. The artist notes that [t]his exhibition of fractals consists in 16 high resolution frames and invites you to dream along a futuristic journey towards the stars. All boards are made of about 18 plates carefully stuck, and displayed in environments built specifically, the minimalist structures of which (often fractals by themselves) contrast with the complexity of the images. There are detailed instructions on how to most optimally experience this work at the landing point, including information on music and WL. It is pretty straight forward to move around, either by using vehicles or flying. Head over and take a look before the installation closes in June.
There are two separate exhibits currently at Hills Gallery, both by Hillany Scofield (aka hill.s). The first one, You Shine Through, consists of eleven black and white new photographs, most with an erotic undertone. These pictures are sublime, bravo hill.s! I also love the space in which they are displayed. The second exhibit, Recreation, was previously shown at the Indie Tepee-Festival last summer. This is an interactive piece of work, where the visitor is asked to take a position amongst mannequins and use light and shadows; hill.s notes [r]ecreate. Either find your place or lose yourself in the grid of impressions and projection. Second life is about you and the ability to find your own fascination. Find yourself. Position yourself. Be a part of the world which your imagination can create. Take a picture ! – the lights are on you. I am pleased to see that hill.s is showing at her gallery again. 🙂
Finally, we have several great shows by Miles Cantelou, Mistero Hifeng and William Weaver at the DixMix Gallery. Head over and take a look!
Photographs by Kate Bergdorf
These are exciting times in the Second Life art world. After a few years of stagnation, virtual art is once again is seeming more alive, even though perhaps there is a shift in a bit of a different direction. A few years ago, installations in various proportions by artists like Simotron Aquila, Igor Ballyhoo, Rebeca Bashly, Rose Borchovski, Artistide Despres, Claudia222 Jewell, nessuno Myoo, Romy Nayar, soror Nishi, Bryn Oh, Maya Paris, and Scottius Polke were frequently shown and immensely popular. While some of these artists are still active, large exhibits seem to be less common today. Fortunately, there are still a few venues, like the recently re-opened Split Screen (presently showing Rebeca Bashly), MetaLES, Berg by Nordan Art (presently showing Haveit Neox), the LEA sims, and a few others that still show larger installations. What is really taking off right now, however, are galleries showing photography. In addition to more established galleries, like for instance, dathuil (presently showing Zib Scaggs), Nitroglobus Hall (presently showing Angelika Corral and SheldonBr) and Berg by Nordan Art (presently showing Mich Michabo), there are a large number of newish galleries, or galleries I’ve not heard of before, showing fabulous work. These are, in no particular order, The Good Days Gallery (presently showing Hillany Scofield), Gallery Fermate (presently showing Kake Broek), DaphneArts Gallery (as of tomorrow showing Jamie Hill and Joslyn Benson), White Pines Gallery (soon showing Daze) and Kafu Ato Gallery (presently showing moon edenbaum). This list is by no means exhaustive, there are several other galleries showing great photographs as well. Do head over and take a look at one or all of these places!
Photograph from The Good Days Gallery by Kate Bergdorf