Body Talk in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery - Body Talk
Club LA and Gallery – Body Talk

Fellow Second life traveller and blogger Wurfi drew me, by way of a Tweet, to a new exhibition of images by Vallys Baxter, which opened on Sunday, December 18th.

Taking place at the Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist), Body Talk offers a collection of 16 pieces offered in a large format. Presented as a series of monochrome images, they form an evocative study of the human form and moods – not all of them necessarily suitable for viewing at work – with equally evocative titles: Desire, Cocoon, Jeux de Mains (“Hand Games”), No Regrets, and more.

Club LA and Gallery - Body Talk
Club LA and Gallery – Body Talk

As one might expect from the title, each piece focuses on the avatar body – or a part thereof. So within the exhibition are studies of the face and head, the torso, the body as a whole, legs, arms – all of which are intended to convey a specific sentiment, mood or emotion. There is a sensuality about many of the pieces which may be obvious in some, and more subtle in others, and it appears the artist has positioned these so that their differing approaches to presenting their sensuality is carefully juxtaposed.

Take Codex and the image immediately to its left (both seen on the left side of the banner image for this review), apparently called Step by Step. In Codex, the sensuality of the piece is clear through the use of nudity the symbols on the torso and the posing of hands. In the piece to its left we are offered an image of a face partially hidden by the hood of a cloak; but what is visible – line of neck, sweep of cheek and hint of smile about the lips – offers a soft, subtle sensuality easily matching that of Codex.

Club LA and Gallery - Body Talk
Club LA and Gallery – Body Talk

The pairing of images seems to be apparent through the use of emotions – such as with No Regrets and Avec le Temps (“With Time”), or through the repeated use the a title, as with the two pieces entitled Barricade (seen directly above).

No Regrets and Avec le Temps are extraordinarily emotive, while the Barricade pair still have a sensual feel to them, but it is one perhaps mixed with other responses. The raised leg in one of them literally stands as just that, and thus is edged with a sense of confrontation. In this, it might also be paired with another piece called Step by Step, which presents a pair of booted feet, one apparently stomping downwards in a forceful stride.

Taken together, this set is an intriguing, enigmatic series, worth taking the time to visit.

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