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