Cica’s Them in Second Life

Cica's Them; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Cica Ghost: Them – click any image for full size

Now open is Cica Ghost’s latest full region installation: Them, and it is perhaps one of her most intriguing, and oddly endearing installations, yet

Beneath a blue / ochre sky, across which clouds periodically scud, lies as barren, undulating landscape of rock and rounded peaks. Strange tentacle-like forms rise into the air at various points, their dimpled sides suggesting they might be hollow, while their tampering, slightly twisted forms suggest tree trunks denuded of branch and leaf.

Cica's Them; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Cica Ghost: Them

Across this landscape, a horde of naked figures can be seen. Almost all of them have heads bowed, backs slightly bent, arms held limply, as in supplication, while one or two are in their knees and one is prostrated on the ground. They all appear humanoid in form, although their bodies are proportioned differently to ours, slightly emaciated in build with skin a pale grey tone. Among the horde, small groups of three or four, along with the occasional individual, have their heads turned towards the sky.

That so few are looking upwards seems odd, because floating or hovering in the sky is a circular craft, a quintessential disc of an unidentified flying object, or UFO. It rotates silently, slowly, beams of light from some of the dimples on its underside sweeping over some of those below, sunlight sparkling occasionally off of its upper surface while illuminating the strange glyphs on its side.

Cica's Them; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Cica Ghost: Them

The presence of the craft suggests the vast majority of the crowd are paying obeisance to it; their heads bowed, bent forward attitude suggestive of subservience. Only those looking up appear to be the least bit inquisitive, heads cocked as their faces are turned towards the sky.

But look again; there is more going on here than might appear to be the case. The eyes of those on the ground appear to be deep-set, lost in shadow beneath heavy brows – or are they? Could their blackened eye sockets indicate they are sightless, or almost so?  Is this why their ears are disproportionately large, and why even those looking up seem to be looking towards the ship in the sky, rather than at it – as if they can hear its presence, rather than see it, and so have heads cocked to better detect the sounds it might make, so they might better understand what it might be?

Cica's Them; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Cica Ghost: Them

Then there is the ship. It is here to observe, or do the beams of light indicate something else – the classic teleporting beams beloved of close encounters stories? And if so, is the ship here to gather, or simply to ferry, being little more than an intergalactic bus service,  picking up another batch of passengers along its route?

Is there, perhaps, a metaphor here, awaiting our interpretation? And who are the “Them” of the title? Whoever might be aboard the ship, or those on the ground? The layers of possible riddle and interpretation are wonderfully stacked together.

Cica's Them; Inara Pey, August 2016, on Flickr Cica Ghost: Them

“There is no U in UFO,” Cica tells us through the About Land description, and you can sense the twinkle in her eyes in writing those words. They hint at the idea of mystery revealed – things are only unidentified until we can make sense of them in our own way. Is this the meaning behind the piece, and are the apparently sightless folk on the ground a metaphor for this obvious-yet-complex truth? Or is the entire piece toying with us: a riddle demanding we apply our imaginations to identify the narrative within it which most appeals to us at the time?

This is the real delight of Them, we can peel back the layers within it – real or supposed – in many different ways, making it an intriguing installation worthy of repeat visits.

SLurl Details

  • Them (Rated:  Moderate)