Opening on Monday January 6th as a part of the LEA’s Full Sim Art series is Gem Preiz’s A Catherdral Dreamer, exhibiting his most recent fractal art creations and which is effectively one-third of a three-part exhibition. Opening at the same time (14:00 SLT on January 6th) will be an additional in-world exhibit featuring his fractal paintings, which includes those on display at LEA6, at his own gallery, while the third part comprises a version of A Cathedral Dreamer displayed on the Metropolis Opensim Grid.
The Installation comprises five distinct elements. There is a central arrival plaza, which is largely devoid of distinguishing features, symbolic of, Gem tells us, “the choices which each of us inevitably has to make about the various attitudes towards Life, the world and other people.” Surrounding this, and connected to it by individual paths, are four great exhibition halls, which the artist advises people to visit in the specific order of East, West, North and South.
The East hall, reached by a path which is increasingly given over to grass and plants, presents a submarine environment, sunlight falling into it from a dappled surface of waves high overhead. Here the images are strongly evocative of coral scenes, as fish and other creatures of the deep circle and swim. It is a place devoid of human presence; a place, Gem states, which “is the domain of the present and permanency at the same time. It is also the evocation of the contemplative attitude of Man before Nature.”
To the West, within what might be an old, abandon warehouse, lay works representing humankind’s industrious nature, featuring huge and complex constructions and buildings of immense size and complexity – but all suffering from decay. From the roof hang a series of cages in which are set a number of human figures in evocative poses. Each of these conveys its own pathos, drawing the observer into its world in a quite powerful manner. This is a setting designed to evoke “the human society which takes, in its whirlwind, the individuals who are the actors and the slaves.”
The hall to the North is more hopeful, containing images of a possible future, focused on a grand and ambitious design, a great cathedral, designed to awe and overwhelm in its sheer beauty. However, one only has to examine the onlookers and the forlorn figure of the designer, seated with his back to the wall, head cradled in his hands, to know this great vision will never be achieved; it is simply to overwhelming.
Finally, to the South lies the future; a place of lines and light, which the artist describes as being, “beyond Time, beyond the world and beyond human activity. A universe of pure concepts which evokes the domain and the activity of the spirit, and which everyone will fill with one’s own faith.” Take your time exploring here; there is more to be seen than might at first seem apparent.
The fractal images on display in the three halls are stunning in their depth and detail, deeply evocative and completely captivating in both their design and their beauty – even those representing decay and loss. The stories present within the halls – particularly the West and North halls – are also very emotive, drawing the visitor into them, encouraging careful observation in camming around if everything is to be captured fully and properly.
Four videos have been produced alongside the exhibition – the full listing is in the note card – and these are also striking in their grandeur and execution, featuring carefully considered music tracks. Pasting the links will play the videos in full-screen HD mode – and they really are worth watching; the marrying of soundtracks to images is simply superb. I’m including one here – make sure you play it full screen and set it to 480p.
A Cathedral Dreamer opens at 14:00 SLT on Monday January 6th, and will remain open until the end of the month. Recommended.