Now open through July at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Haas, is ALL_MOST REAL, an exhibition by MM (myster). Comprising 18 monochrome nude and avatar studies, it is an extraordinary exhibit, demonstrating both the depth of mood, feeling and sheer realism which can be achieved through Second Life photography, whilst also highlighting the extraordinarily narrow boundary which exists in our perception of what might constitute “reality”.
“ALL_MOST REAL is a quest on reality and perception, and how they influence our emotions,” the artist states in introductory notes for the exhibition. “We know perceptions win over facts and reality so many times, conditioning our lives. In MM’s search for realism, could it be that the doll finally (like Pinocchio) transforms pixels into flesh?”
Of the 18 images presented here, with six from the physical world, the rest from the virtual. Together they offer a set of works not only of subtle, sensual beauty, each with its own story to tell, they also toy with our perceptions, and invite questions on the nature of reality and transformation. Where, exactly, does the avatar model cease and the human model start – and vice versa?
Which is not to say that any formal challenge is being made to visitors; there is no demand that we attempt to sort one from the other – although MM did tell me that she did ask several friends to examine the images to see if they could! Rather, as she notes in her introduction to the exhibition, it doesn’t matter if you solve the “puzzle” of which images might have been taken in which medium; it is on how they individually and collectively speak to you, and the journey they encourage you to take.
This challenge to our perceptions of the avatar / human “divide” also resonates deeper, touching on matters such as our own level of investment in our avatars; the way in which we can project our living essence into the digital through them. Thus the journey offered in studying the pictures becomes uniquely personal.
Some three months in the making, All_MOST REAL is a stunning and captivating exhibition; one which really should not be missed. Whether depicting a physical model or an avatar, the beauty and life permeating each of the images is as undeniable as it is breathtaking. Take All_Most Real 15, for example (below). Such is the natural depth and tone to the picture, it is hard to escape the feeling – the desire – that if we look long enough, the subject’s eyes will open and her lips will soften into a loving smile at us.
Highly recommended – an exhibition which should not be missed.
- Nitroglobus Hall (Rated: Moderate)