The GBTH Project

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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 itThe 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.

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Poster by Marina Münter
Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

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Berg by Nordan Art Closing

I will close my gallery Berg by Nordan Art December 31. Until then, we will continue operating as usual; CapCat Ragu and Meilo Minotaur have a new exhibit coming up October through December, as does moon Edenbaum. Gallery M, the permanent exhibit space by Mich Michabo, remains open. I hope to be able to extend at least a smaller version of Marina Münter‘s installation Non-Perishable beyond the end of September as well. More about this to come.

Berg by Nordan Art started as Nordan Art. The gallery operated as Nordan Art from 2010 through March of 2012 and then as Berg by Nordan Art from 2015 through 2017. The vision of the gallery has remained consistent; to offer the highest quality virtual art, both when it comes to large immersive installations on the ground as well as to virtual images in the gallery build. Thank you to the outstanding artists who exhibited in the gallery since 2010; they are, in chronological order, nessuno Myoo, Paola Tauber, freebee Withnail, Kicca Igaly, Natsha Lemton, Del May, Bliss Violet, typote Beck, Syn Beresford, Feathers Boa, soror Nishi, Betty Tureaud, Rebeca Bashly, Rose Borchovski, Helene Lytton, Simotron Aquila, Claudia222 Jewell, Shelina Winkler, Theoretical Afterthought, Igor Ballyhoo, Cherry Manga, Anley Piers, lalie Sorbet, Romy Nayar, Trill Zapatero, Artistide Despres, Alizarin Goldflake, Stephen Venkman, Robin Moore, Scottius Polke, Tutsy Navarathna, Piedra Lubitsch, Harbor Galaxy, Giovanna Cerise, Sina Souza, Haveit Neox, Mich Michabo, Imani Nayar, Maloe Vansant, Livio Korobase, Mi, Meilo Minotaur, CapCat Ragu, Huckleberry Hax, daze Landar, Senna Coronet, Marina Münter and moon Edenbaum. Some of these artists exhibited twice and of note, there was a period in the beginning of 2012 where documentation about the gallery is not available. Please let me know if you exhibited then and are not on the list and I will make sure to add you.

Retrospective publications (Nordan Art: A Retrospective 2010 to 2011, Berg by Nordan Art 2015, Berg by Nordan Art 2016), machinima (Rebirth by Iono Allen, Penumbra Machinima by Erythro Asimov, Penumbra Opening at Berg by Nordan Art by Tutsy Navarathna, Berg by Nordan Art by Zarrakan the Cat, Berg by Nordan Art Opening 2016 by Tutsy Navarathna, Fading Mask by Haveit Neox, Berg by Nordan Art Opening October 2015 by Tutsy Navarathna, Harbor Galaxy at Berg by Nordan Art by Tutsy Navarathna), lectures, Nordan Art awards (both at UWA and at Nordan Art), inworld groups (Nordan om Jorden and Berg by Nordan Art), blog posts (The Bergdorf Reports and The Virtual Review) and Flickr groups (Berg by Nordan Art, Nordan Art Issuu Publishing and Non-Perishable) came about as extensions of the gallery. A special thank you to Igor Ballyhoo, Huckleberry Hax and Tutsy Navarathna. You were integral as creative collaborators and contributors.

Moving forward I will focus on my sim North, create my own virtual images and maybe write some art blog posts here and there. We will publish a Berg by Nordan Art 2017 retrospective next year. The Berg by Nordan Art inworld group, as well as the Nordan om Jorden inworld group, will remain open and active. I also anticipate that I will be involved in various art undertakings in the future, which will then all fall under the auspice of Nordan Art/Berg by Nordan Art.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf

Marina Münter: A Talk About Non-Perishable

Marina Münter’s Non-Perishable, currently at Berg by Nordan Art, has been up for about a week. We have received great feedback and there are some incredible images in our Non-Perishable Flickr group. We will have an informal talk about the exhibit on Sunday, September 10, at 11AM SLT, where Marina will discuss her work and answer questions. We would like for this to be a talk about Non-Perishable specifically, but also about art, virtual and otherwise.

Marina’s Non-Perishable strays from the traditional notion of a virtual art installation. She notes that I realized that I was putting up an exhibition that could have been done in RL and I actually searched for more realistic objects. The immersive experiences I’ve seen in SL tend to be more surrealistic. That is not what I am trying to do with my work. Marina has used objects by established SL content creators for her exhibit and successfully created with these both the inside stories in the five containers as well as the dock-inspired surroundings. She further notes that I’m not there to claim that I am the creator of these objects, I’m there to give them a purpose, insert them into a context. Taking the immersive installation process one step further, Marina invites visitors to take images using their own avatars within one of the five containers. The virtual images by visitor avatars in the containers have become an important extension of the exhibit.

Come join us if you can on Sunday at Berg by Nordan Art for what promises to be an intriguing art talk. Marina will speak about her work and answer questions and I will moderate, all in voice. We ask that the audience please write their questions in chat and we will answer them in the order in which they are received. See you then!

Poster created by  Marina Münter

Non-Perishable: An Exhibit by Marina Münter at Berg by Nordan Art

Marina Münter and I were just recently introduced by a mutual friend. Pretty much immediately after we had exchanged only a few words we embarked upon a whirlwind of planning and action for a new art project at the gallery. Marina’s exhibit, Non-Perishable, will open at Berg by Nordan Art on September 1, 2017, at 2 PM SLT. Her installation consists of five containers in different colors placed upon a cement slab attached to a floating pontoon. Each container holds various objects and all, except for one or two of them, are in the same color as the container itself. Throughout her work on this immersive project, Marina and I chatted intermittently. Below find excerpts from our exchange.

[2017/08/25 12:09] Kate: there are like little stories in each space?
[2017/08/25 12:09] Marina Münter: yes
[2017/08/25 12:10] Kate: great for photography too, little scenes
[2017/08/25 12:10] Marina Münter: yep
[2017/08/25 12:10] Marina Münter: it started like a photo project for myself, but then started growing

[2017/08/27 16:22] Marina Münter: I think working with the subject of memory is always interesting, makes it more personal
[2017/08/27 16:22] Marina Münter: and even with those objects I can relate to something from my life or a mood, feelings of a memory as well, if it makes sense for you
[2017/08/27 16:22] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 16:23] Kate: the objects become the language
[2017/08/27 16:24] Marina Münter: the green container is a trap
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: once you get it you can’t go out
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: literally
[2017/08/27 16:25] Kate: omg i thought it was my lag lool
[2017/08/27 16:25] Kate: heeeeeellllllp!!
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: hahahaha
[2017/08/27 16:25] Marina Münter: need to fix that
[2017/08/27 16:25] Kate: mabye not 😀

[2017/08/27 16:32] Kate: have you showed art in SL before or is this the first time?
[2017/08/27 16:33] Marina Münter: it is my first time here in SL, but in RL I was part of a collective exhibition of photography back in 2009
[2017/08/27 16:40] Marina Münter: my mother is an artist, and I grew up between exhibitions and installations
[2017/08/27 16:40] Kate: so it’s in your blood
[2017/08/27 16:40] Marina Münter: and I have this thing that I don’t see myself as an artist because no one really want to be like their parents haha
[2017/08/27 16:40] Marina Münter: it is a real struggle for me
[2017/08/27 16:40] Kate: true you want to do your own thing lol
[2017/08/27 16:40] Kate: yes i can imagine
[2017/08/27 16:41] Marina Münter: for the first time, with this exhibition now, I am allowing myself to be an artist
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: the moment I told myself “ok, let’s do it” was when I found out a way to take better photos with my laptop
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: and then is labor
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: repetition
[2017/08/27 16:43] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 16:43] Marina Münter: because if you have, for example, an empty glass
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: you can pour water
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: drink it, then maybe use this glass to organize pencils
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: or make a small garden in it
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: break it and glue the pieces together
[2017/08/27 16:44] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 16:44] Marina Münter: pile a bunch of glasses together
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: the possibilities are infinite
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: and I really think that the choices you make towards the subject are who you are
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: the luggage you bring
[2017/08/27 16:45] Kate: so once you start doing it you know at some point where it will end or what it will become
[2017/08/27 16:45] Marina Münter: oh no
[2017/08/27 16:45] Kate: yes a subjective process
[2017/08/27 16:46] Marina Münter: I never know how it will end
[2017/08/27 16:46] Marina Münter: but I know from the moment it is done I want to get rid of it
[2017/08/27 16:46] Marina Münter: haha
[2017/08/27 16:46] Kate: you need to rid yourself of it lol
[2017/08/27 16:47] Kate: a really meaningful process, also hard, that you are going through right now then
[2017/08/27 16:47] Marina Münter: oh yes
[2017/08/27 16:47] Marina Münter: I am really obsessed with it
[2017/08/27 16:48] Marina Münter: started working on it from the moment I received the containers
[2017/08/27 16:48] Marina Münter: and didn’t really stop since
[2017/08/27 16:48] Kate: and you’ve been writing about this also
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: lines
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: I write lines
[2017/08/27 16:49] Kate: part of poems perhaps
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: not sure
[2017/08/27 16:49] Marina Münter: maybe confessions
[2017/08/27 16:49] Kate: but they belong with the containers
[2017/08/27 16:52] Kate: its like sorting through chaos somehow
[2017/08/27 16:52] Marina Münter: yes
[2017/08/27 16:52] Kate: there is really nothing like the creative process to sort your feelings
[2017/08/27 16:52] Kate: you just get so caught up in it
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: yep
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: you grab them by the horns
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: I can’t remember who told me that the first time but I try to keep that thought with me
[2017/08/27 16:53] Marina Münter: grab by the horns
[2017/08/27 16:53] Kate: tackle things

[2017/08/27 17:06] Marina Münter: so the containers are what i ended up using because I was born and I live in a port city
[2017/08/27 17:07] Marina Münter: I always see those bad boys being carried away or at the traffic jam
[2017/08/27 17:07] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 17:08] Marina Münter: and I kept thinking what on earth are they carrying
[2017/08/27 17:08] Marina Münter: and have you seen a port before?
[2017/08/27 17:08] Marina Münter: it is amazing
[2017/08/27 17:09] Kate: well there are a lot of ships and a lot of hustle and bustle
[2017/08/27 17:09] Marina Münter: and the colors are intense
[2017/08/27 17:09] Marina Münter: the smell of fuel and salt
[2017/08/27 17:10] Kate: yes
[2017/08/27 17:10] Marina Münter: so I decided to put stories inside those containers now
[2017/08/27 17:11] Marina Münter: make them home of beautiful and disturbing things
[2017/08/27 17:11] Kate: make them alive somehow i guess too
[2017/08/27 17:12] Kate: this is really about subjectivity again
[2017/08/27 17:12] Kate: making objects subjective
[2017/08/27 17:14] Kate: well i imagine the content of each container is a collection of memories that come together and each create a story that doesn’t really have a name, but there is a feeling
[2017/08/27 17:14] Marina Münter: yes, you got it
[2017/08/27 17:14] Kate: we don’t really need to name things
[2017/08/27 17:14] Kate: naming is overrated lol
[2017/08/27 17:14] Marina Münter: but it is all there
[2017/08/27 17:14] Marina Münter: haha yes
[2017/08/27 17:15] Marina Münter: one of the things I like the most about contemporary art is that you can relate to them
[2017/08/27 17:15] Marina Münter: you can feel something or not
[2017/08/27 17:16] Marina Münter: art is language for me
[2017/08/27 17:16] Marina Münter: so if they can speak to me through their work, fantastic
[2017/08/27 17:17] Marina Münter: sometimes it gets lost in translation

Marina will be exhibiting in the same Non-Perishable exhibit space photographs that she took of the five containers. She will be inviting photographers to take pictures and we will show some of these images also. Visitors are welcome to take pics too and we are creating a Non-Perishable Flickr group for people to show their work. In an effort to make this project as interactive and immersive as possible, poses will be available in addition to the chairs that are already in the containers.

Finally, a special thanks to, in alphabetical order, Agustkov, Irina Forwzy, Lux Chiantelle, Megan Prumier, moon Edenbaum, Pari Dolia, William Weaver and Zygo Decosta, all of whom were integral parts in putting together the exhibit. Hope you are able to join us for the opening of this extraordinary installation on Friday. Please be on the lookout for in-world announcements as well as Flickr posting for details. Landmark will be available on the day of the opening.

Photographs by Kate Bergdorf

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

art in june

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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

Tout est Allumé by Tutsy Navarathna

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For those of you who have not yet seen the exhibit Tout est Allumé, by French artist Tutsy Navarathna at MetaLES, there is still time. This spectacular work, curated by Ux Hax and Romy Nayar, with technical assistance by ChimKami and Yoon, will be open until the end of the year. What we find here are six stories of machinima art, 35 movies all in all, made up of 16 machinima and 19 short animations. It would be a mistake to think of this as simply a retrospective of Tutsy’s machinima as there are several new shorter animations to be seen as well. All films are displayed on several levels and to me they somehow feel both separate and connected. The space surrounding the machinima consists of geometric shapes, some of are moving and some static. Translucent staircases connect the different floors. Crucial to the experience of this multidimensional work are of course the animations and music, which are set in continuous loops. There are poses and props, rain, umbrellas, a grand piano and much more, all contributing to a most unique and playful immersive experience.

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This is a monumental installation and well thought out in its complexity. The visitor will want to come prepared to spend time. Tutsy has with this work integrated sound, movement and animation to create a sophisticated immersive whole and with it beautifully displays the notion of the virtual; virtual reality, augmented reality, virtual life, immersive worlds … these new words describe a part of our future. My movies in Second Life try to show how virtuality is part of our reality. The influence it has on our thoughts, our artistic creations, our friendly or romantic relationships. A phenomenon still very young, virtual life has a bright future and like all major revolutions it is worth to see more closely, trying to understand, even flying too close to the sun and burn your wings . . . Bravo Tutsy, this is truly a groundbreaking contribution not only to our SL world of art but also to the virtual community at large. Noteworthy is also that visitors to this exhibit will likely not have any technical difficulties at all. The machinima themselves are easy to play; simply place the cursor on the bar on the movie screen and press play, replay or stop. They can also be viewed on the web. It quite remarkable to me how these films can be played simultaneously inworld without the sound or the visuals of each machinima interfering with the other. Quite the technical challenge, congrats to all involved for mastering this aspect too. The recommended WL is midnight and draw-distance 200. There are illuminated lines and large arrows on the ground showing the way. Head over and take a look before this installation closes to the public in about two weeks. You will not want to miss it!

Photographs by Tutsy Navarathna

Things About the Gallery

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As the year is soonish coming to an end I thought this might be a good time to reflect on  things pertaining to my gallery Berg by Nordan Art. Right now we are showing in the small gallery the exhibit Passively, by Sina Souza, and on the full-sim ground space the installation Memories, by Giovanna Cerise. These two exhibits will be up until the end of the year. Planned so far for the first half of 2016 are, in chronological order, exhibits by Mich Michabo, Haveit Neox, Imani Nayar, Igor Ballyhoo and Cica Ghost. Looking back, it was an active year; incredible exhibits by Tutsy Navarathna, Piedra Lubitsch, and Harbor Galaxy; publication of Berg by Nordan Art 2015, co-edited by Huckleberry Hax and myself and published by Nordan Art Issuu Publishing; release of Harbor Galaxy at Berg by Nordan Art and Berg by Nordan Art Opening October 2015, two excellent machinima, by Tutsy Navarathna, covering the two past exhibit openings; and the addition of an informal gallery space L’annexe showing some of my photographs. I am excited about another year of outstanding art at Berg by Nordan Art. I hope you will join us both at openings and come to visit the gallery throughout the year.

Photograph by Kate Bergdorf