I was lead to Overto Omonto by Honour. The latest work by artist and creator Romy Nayar, this is – to grab a word from Honour as well – an exquisite full region installation which is being hosted by the folks at Per4mance MetaLES for the next two months, having replaced Chica Ghost’s evocative Ghostville.
Romy’s installation is an inspired piece which fits the run-up to Halloween perfectly, and presents visitors with a puzzle to solve. What’s more, one might even be tempted to say that there’s something of a metaphor here, with a finger perhaps pointed in a certain direction …
You see, Overto Omonto was once a prosperous place, bright and happy and full of life. But then, as Caballero, the greeter, tells us:
Little by little each one of us was isolating himself, and did not care what happened to others and finally we could not talk to anyone. Our heart becomes like stone and we were no longer able to communicate.
Hmm. Isolation. Not caring. Failing to communicate; there’s something of a bell ringing here – but I risk a digression …
Now, those within Overto Omonto who could, would escape their lonely existence – but they cannot do so without our help. Each of them holds a secret, and we must obtain that secret – a password – so that we may help them achieve freedom from the darkness of their current lives.
The residents here are beautifully modelled, each one the focal-point of a haunting vignette which the imagination cannot help but create stories around. Take little Nina, as she watches a balloon rise up into the sky. Did she free it from the box on the ground beneath it, top thrown open? Is she wishing it well in its bid for airborne freedom? Or is she envying its flight, knowing she must remain Earthbound and trapped? And what of the box from whence it appears to have come – is it coincidence that its interior comprises strips of wood, the darker ones looking for all the world like the bars of a cage…?
Each character herein invites you to linger, study, observe – and imagine. Their looks, poses and very demeanour projects so much without ever moving or changing. None of them remain quite what they seem on first inspection. Simply rotating one’s camera around them and viewing them from different angles invites the mind to consider each of them differently; their moods seeming to change as the camera and lighting shifts. Frozen they may be, but each is very much alive, if trapped within the scene in which they each appear, the scenes themselves inviting more than one interpretation.
This is a wonderfully immersive installation, one I’m not sure my photos really do any justice; to see it at its best, a personal visit is required. You can explore on foot or, if you prefer, grab a copy of the funky car which is available near the landing point and Caballero.