There is Hope in Solitude: An Exhibit by Oyo at Nordan Art

 

I am happy to announce here the first exhibit by Nordan Art on the sim North, There is Hope in Solitude, by Oyo, opening on Saturday, January 20 at 12 PM SLT. This exhibit consists of ten virtual images, each addressing aspects of solitude. The show is based upon the poem below by Oyo, and also inspired by the song Gone by Jona Lee.

il y a comme un espoir dans la solitude
une urgence à ressentir la plénitude
l’inexorable absence devenue souffrance
pour enfin trouver cette présence dans le silence:
moi

there is hope in solitude
an urgency to feel the fullness
inexorably absence becomes suffering
to finally find this presence in the silence:
self

Each of Oyo’s images expresses waiting, hope, introspection, faith: the steps on the path away from loneliness and towards solitude. She told me that she only fairly recently found a way within to transition from loneliness to solitude. Oyo describes this process “as if you are afraid, terrified to get out of the box where you found yourself for ages, its like a prison and at the same time a nest.” The internal shift has had a significant impact on her images; “my experiencing solitude resulted in photographs with more depth.” Ultimately, and as so poignantly expressed in her poem, this exhibit offers a glimpse into the artist’s emerging sense of a creative self. Come join us tomorrow for the opening and if you can’t make it make sure to take a look later, the exhibit will be up through March.

Photograph of Oyo and Kate on North by Toxx Genest
Poster by Oyo

Advertisements

Tell Me a Story

It gives me great pleasure to write here about the new Delicatessen installation, Tell Me a Story, by Meilo Minotaur. The Delicatessen art sim, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu, will re-open this Saturday, January 13, after having been closed for a while. Tell Me a Story is an interactive installation in the sense that visitors are encouraged to participate by telling their own stories and in doing so connecting various parts of the exhibit. Meilo explains that I ask you to tell me a story that links the various scenes of the installation. The characters of the island have their correspondence in avatars. They do not have names, you can give any name you think fit them. It will not be necessary to use all the characters or scenes, you will use those that you understand. The stories will be told as you please: only with text, text and image, video or whatever you wantTen avatars are available for free at the landing point, they can also be observed as part of the installation throughout the island. As with previous avatars created by Meilo, these are magical fantasy avatars (mythical animals, girls and boys, birds) that inspire the users who wear them to play and create.

[2018/01/10 10:50] Kate: look at the first one, the animal avatar, so stoic
[2018/01/10 10:50] Axiom: a king of an ancient saga
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: I like the red one, next, the second
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: so abstract
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: amazing
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: the third is so Max Ernst
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: i often get choked up when i see their stuff for the first time
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: it’s so beautiful
[2018/01/10 10:51] Axiom: it’s all very surreal
[2018/01/10 10:51] Kate: yes

The installation is like an island, the ground surface sand-like, and parts are quite steep and hilly. There are black, bushy trees with thorns extending from small water pools and two groups of buildings; one is a cluster of small wooden houses up in the sky, the other a solemn, dark city, consisting of tall towers and spires, is nested into the hills. Placed on another part of the island is a thick, web-like, white fog, lending a misty and mysterious atmosphere. Disbursed throughout are small scenes consisting of avatars, figures and other objects. Wild geese glide low over shallow waters (click the water to ride a goose).

[2018/01/10 11:18] Kate: one really has to look at all levels, low and high, not to miss anything
[2018/01/10 11:19] Axiom: not a funny place this city
[2018/01/10 11:19] Kate: no, very dark
[2018/01/10 11:20] Axiom: perhaps she [Meilo] put a reference to the contemporary with this, or the future as she sees it, this town
[2018/01/10 11:20] Kate: could be, would make sense
[2018/01/10 11:21] Kate: these other little houses here, clustered together in a very uniform way, feel more ordinary
[2018/01/10 11:24] Axiom: one of the houses is different
[2018/01/10 11:24] Axiom: and the girl is there, she is looking into the flower
[2018/01/10 11:25] Axiom: maybe this whole thing really is inside the flower
[2018/01/10 11:25] Axiom: what she sees
[2018/01/10 11:25] Kate: that’s an incredible way of thinking about it 🙂
[2018/01/10 11:25] Axiom: this surely is complex
[2018/01/10 11:25] Kate: i think we have our story, it’s about a girl with a red flower

About a Girl With a Red Flower:
A story inspired by the Tell Me a Story installation, written by Axi and Kate

The girl with the red flower is not an ordinary girl and her flower is no ordinary flower either. Iris, her name, the girl is on stilt-like legs like everybody dwelling at her island-kingdom, to remain safe and protect herself from the zombie-like creatures that like the proverbial quixotic windmills keep attacking the waters that surround her. She wears a red and black dress, has the bluest of eyes and a curious little round, pale face. Iris owns a bright red poppy flower which she has planted on the ground at one of the far-most tree houses her family owns. She nurtures it secretly, with jealousy. Unlike any other flower in the island-kingdom, her flower does not die. The poppy flower contains little black seeds and every time she blows at them they turn into fluffy little seed balls and are carried away in all directions by the wind. Legend has it, that it is only the sweet breath of Iris that can turn a poppy-seed into a fluffy seed ball. Iris stands next to her wooden house in the sky all day long, arms extended in a perfect angle, dreamy, blowing her breath on the poppy flower seeds and watch them sail away. As the seeds touch land at various locations around the island-kingdom, they carry her imagination, her fears and her dreams. It is said that wherever the seeds catch good land, for days a translucent picture grows with characters from Iris’s lonely and imaginative life and it is made real for all to see.

Just like with any other Meilo installation before it, Tell Me a Story, will surely stimulate the visitor in many ways. This is one in particular captivated us to such an extent that we got completely caught up in creativity. Thank you Meilo for sharing your incredible magic with us, for inspiring us to dream a little and play.

Photograph 1 by Kate Bergdorf
Photograph 2, 3, 4, 5 by Axiomatic Clarity

The Gallery

As readers of this blog are aware, my gallery Berg by Nordan Art will close tomorrow. It has been an amazing seven years (on and off, mostly on) with exposure to all kinds of art and, no doubt, it has been an experience that has enriched my life. One of the reasons I am discontinuing the gallery is that I want to shift gears and the other is that it has taken up too much of my time. But while my sim North is now my focus of attention, a part of me clearly also doesn’t want to let go of the gallery. I realized recently, I actually don’t have to and decided to open a much smaller version of it on North. The ground level of the Apple Fall corner store will be used for the new gallery, named Nordan Art (the original name of my gallery before I reopened it as Berg by Nordan Art). There will be four Nordan Art exhibits per year, each photographer will show for three months. Stay put for updates!

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

 

the plant

There is a new installation, The Plant, spearheaded by Eupalinos Ugajin, that opens on November 1. The exact opening time is still to be determined. This is a remarkable project for several reasons. One, Eupa only rarely puts together projects like this and every time it happens, we know we are in for a treat. Further, the group of artists participating are a fantastic mix of talented creators, some of whos’ work we have not seen in a very, very long time. The artists, in no particular order, are Penumbra Carter, Dekka Raymaker, Suzanne Graves, Haveit Neox, Kikas Babenco and Marmaduke Arado, Art Oluja, Igor Ballyhoo, Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Moewe Winkler and Artistide Despres. This multi-level work addresses technology and its impact on humanity and earth. Upon arrival one finds oneself on a platform, surrounded by posters with information as well as quotes (see below). Please read the instructions as they will be helpful to optimize viewer experience. Also make sure to turn up sound as its an integral part of this. There are gifts distributed throughout, see if you can find them! Teleports are available to each of the levels that display works by aforementioned artists.

Untitled

I will not go into detail here about each installation, but I assure you taking it all in is a delightful experience. What awaits the visitor is at first glance a whimsical and even messy, yet also organized, chaos. Delving further into this installation, however, one is struck by the masterful executions and intricacies of each individual’s work (above contribution by Haveit Neox). Eupa notes about this work that [t]hey were brought up believing technology could solve any problem facing Humanity. The right glasses would restore the sight of the Blind Locomotive. Being a . . . (fill) specialist you were invited at today’s meeting at “The Plant.” Please make sure to attend the opening if you can and if not visit later, this important work should not be missed. Sim will be accessible to the public at the day of the opening.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

The Dreamers

The opening of the final Berg by Nordan Art installation, The Dreamers, by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu will take place on Saturday, October 21, at 1PM SLT. The exhibit will be up until the last day of December, which is also the last opening day of the gallery. Like the preceding work by these talented artists, this promises to be extraordinary. To me, the description of this work alone reads like poetry.

Because violence will not take away our ability to dream!

When we were just beginning to create this project, the events of Charlottesville happened. Our hearts stopped. We cannot do this – we thought – we must alert to the political situation we live in! The danger of tyranny. The danger of environmental disaster. The danger of xenophobia, sexism, homophobia. The danger of hate! But then we stopped.

From within us came this beach, this horizon. This sea, this lake, these white clouds grew. No! We will not give up on The Dreamers. We will not give up on beauty. They will not steal the beauty of the world. They will not steal tenderness. They will not steal the life we have left. And so, our beach is our resistance!

Meilo and CapCat are again generously offering free gift avatars available at the landing. The gallery is temporarily closed now for installation until the opening and we will then provide the exhibit landmark via group announcements and Flickr.

Poster by Meilo Minotaur and CapCat Ragu

Fear, she is the mother of violence: An Installation by Livio Korobase on LEA1

There is currently an installation, Fear, she is the mother of violence, on LEA1 by Livio Korobase. As is usually the case when it comes to this artist, there is no opening date; the installation is a work in progress and will close at the end of December. This work consists of a sim-sized space, the ground covered in a blackboard-like texture covered with scratches and partially with black and red text. Scattered throughout are groups of objects; clusters of people, statues, and a large TV. The TV displays, just as does the text on the ground, messages about violence and fear. Livio notes about his exhibit that I wanted to build a field of fears, where people can listen to little audio talks of people talking about fears, personal fears, anything related to fear. Livio will install invisible sound emitters and visitors will hear recorded voices talking about fears as they walk through the exhibit. He invites every one who is interested to submit a 10-second-long audio file about personal fears (the fears can be about anything). The audio will be anonymous. If interested in submitting your voice sample, please email an audio file to livio.korobase@gmail.com.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

art in august

isa

As readers of this blog know by now, I like to start my monthly art reports with updates on my own gallery, Berg by Nordan Art. We are currently showing the installation The Swamp, by CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur, the photography exhibit Loss, by Senna Coronet, as well as the exhibit The Other (Gallery M), by Mich Michabo. All shows are accessible via teleport from the main gallery. Coming up in October, CapCat and Meilo have a new installation planned, one that will correspond with a real life exhibit. moon Edenbaum will show a photograph exhibit from October through December. More about this to come.

I finally visited Welcome to My Brain, by Isa Messioptra, curated by Lucy Butoh and Max Butoh, at dathuil. Essential to this exhibit are Phototools settings and detailed instructions are posted on the wall at the entrance. I’ve been wanting to see this exhibit for a while now, but have simply been too busy to make it. Upon arrival then, standing in front of a red wallpapered room containing a large brain, it hits me that dathuil has been completely transformed! This show is set on two levels, a new floor, walls and stairs have been installed. Isa notes about her work that [e]ver wanted to take a journey through the human brain? No, not really? Eew? Well too bad because I am going to make you. This new exhibit at Dathuil is different than anything I have worked on before. It is not just images but is intended to be an immersive experience. As you walk through the exhibit you travel through different chambers of the subconscious each completely different from the next much like a Fun House. In this exhibit I use light projection, reflective surfaces, mesh builds, photography, video, physics, animated textures etc. etc. The exhibit consists of several little scenes exploring unconscious experiences and corners of the brain. Intricately constructed displays and outstanding photography, bright colors, shiny textures, and light contribute to this being one of the most stellar exhibits I have seen this year. I bumped into Isa while I was visiting and she said about her work that I started experimenting with reflections and different animated surfaces so I figured I would pick the brain as a subject because it gives me license to do anything. Head over and check out this amazing exhibit, it will be open until the end of August.

The exhibit Selfies, by Burk Bode, curated by Fuyoko Amano (aka Wintergeist), at Club LA Gallery, opened July 30. The show consists of 16 large color portraits, contained in a large black box (suggested WL settings are Midnight or Ambient Dark). The photographs displayed here are sheer and layered, leaving the viewer with the sense of being in a labyrinth surrounded by multiple faces. About this exhibit, Burk notes that [c]hanging my look constantly as shapeshifter some of my shapes last for a day, for one picture, and some stay. A constant change, hard to keep as is this show. Hard to look at. Every look translucent and overlain by former or future versions of the “me.” I met up with Burk at Club LA, took some pics and we talked about his work.

[08:03] Burk Bode: I thought it would be nice to show some of the faces I made
[08:04] Burk Bode: as I was thinking of how to fill the box, I had the idea of making the pics translucent
[08:04] Burk Bode: so that you can see one face behind the other
[08:05] Burk Bode: like I do in my head
[08:05] Burk Bode: always the next idea already there while I still work on the actual one
[08:09] Kate: so this is really a representation of the images you see in your mind of people
[08:09] Kate: at the same time, multilayered
[08:09] Kate: its like thinking
[08:10] Burk Bode: yep
[08:10] Burk Bode: the split personality me
[08:10] Kate: well i think we all think that way somehow
[08:10] Kate: constant stimuli

A very cool exhibit and a must see. Head over and take a look before it closes in a week or so.

Split Screen, the installation art space curated by Dividni Shostakovich, received a six-month LEA Artist in Residence grant starting in July and is now located on LEA15. Congrats, Dividni! Currently on display as of yesterday are two new installations, EveryWhere and NoWhere by JadeYu Fhang, and The Games We Play by Krystali Rabeni. JadeYu’s work is the larger of the two and located on the ground level. Consisting of several small scenes on multiple levels, this complex work is made up of fantasy figures, ladders, metal beams, and chromosome-like shapes. There is movement, light and fog. The installation initially felt haphazardly put together to me. After a while, however, my impression of it being unfinished and random was replaced by a sense of immersion, a beautiful and purposeful chaos. Really well done, Jade. This installation can’t be rushed through, make sure to spend some time exploring. The work by Krystali consists of a huge chessboard, on it silver and gold chess pawns. Winged chess pieces are part of this installation as well, lending it a sense of movement and intrigue. Head over and take a look at these two installations before they close at the end of September.

There are a few other art events that should not be missed this month. Cica Ghost’s Future opened a few days ago. Her installation consists of a small, grayish island on which are positioned tall cement buildings, a large sea-animal observes the scene from the water. Cica provides about her work a quote by John Greene, “If you don’t imagine, nothing ever happens at all.” The installation Ripple, A Meditation on Waves, by Douglas Story & Desdemona Enfield (sonic environment by March Macbain a.ka. Emily Wilkins in RL), is a small visual sonic space where the visitor interacts with the environment. The Holly Kai Art in the Park August 2017 event features Dido Haas, Diamond Marchant, Cecilia Nansen Mode, Jes Mode and Fuyoko Amano (aka Wintergeist).

I know of at least two new shows scheduled to open at the end of August, both of them group exhibits. One at DaphneArts Gallery, curated by Sheldon BeRgman and Angelika Corall, and the other at IMAGO Art Gallery, curated by Mareea Farrasco. More of this to come in next month’s monthly art write-up!

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

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

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