Dathúil: an adult Private Sphere in Second Life

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery
Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

The latest exhibition at Dathúil Gallery, curated and operated by Max Butoh and Lυcy (LucyDiam0nd), opened on March 4th, 2017. Entitled Private Sphere, it features the work of Prairie Kawashima, and encompasses adult themes, and so should be considered NSFW.

“For almost a decade, Second Life has been my refuge – a place of boredom, excess, love and inspiration,” Prairie says, introducing her exhibition. “Some of this incredible mixture that I keep enjoying so much has turned into a river of self-shots (including occasional homages to my closest friends) that has  found its way to my Flickr account. Other things will forever remain private. Private Sphere is a selection of mostly unpublished pictures that have been between these two categories for some time.”

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery
Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

On display are 29 images laid out in a maze-like pattern in the lower floor of the gallery. The central theme is avatar studies with a focus on bondage and / or nudity – hence the adult nature.

Some of the bondage is explicitly shown, with several images featuring shibari / kinbaku, with the focus purely on hemp-style rope, others featuring more westernised approaches of restraint: manacles, stocks, cuffs, etc.  Where bondage is not the focus of an image, it is sometimes implied through the curls of rope on a bed or the flow of chains across a sheet, while several of the poses include suggestions or hints of submission.

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery
Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

The nudity within the images is also explicit, and most of the pieces appear to have undergone minimal post-processing. Combined, this gives them a direct feel which is – to use an English phrase – pretty “in your face”, in that their raw sexually is openly shown without the subtleties of soft focus, light airbrushing or similar, which might otherwise soften the impact as one wanders between the frames in which the images are set.

This approach – both in terms of the directness of the images and how they have been laid out  –  adds a voyeuristic frisson to the exhibit: we are being invited into a private sphere of activities and witness them with the added excitation over what might be revealed around the next corner.

Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery
Private Sphere – Dathúil Gallery

Private Sphere isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste – but that doesn’t mean it is any the less artistic in form and presentation that more modest displays of avatar studies. It will remain on display at Dathúil through until the end of the month.

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