Selfies and an exhibition in Second Life

Club LA and Gallery: Burke Bode

Club LA and Gallery, curated by Fuyuko ‘冬子’ Amano (Wintergeist) has a new ground-level location, which is still partially under construction. To celebrate the move, the gallery is hosting two exhibitions; the first, Selfies: Some of My Faces, by Burke Bode, has been open since July; the second, An Exhibition by Twain Orfan, opens on Sunday, August 20th.

“Pablo Picasso said ‘Everything you can imagine is real,'” Burke says of his exhibition. “He is right. Living in a world that is completely created from scratch just by the imagination of its residents you experience this. A place where you can invent yourself new every day and for a creative person a place where you MUST create yourself new every single day. [I’m] changing my look constantly as shape shifter. Some of my shapes last for a day, for one picture; and some stay.”

Club LA and Gallery: Burke Bode

He reflects this beautifully with an exhibition of images illustrating many of his various looks. These are presented in an enclosed space within the gallery, the images laid out to present something of a maze visitors walk through. Semi-translucent, the images resemble layers visible one through another so that as you walk through them, each appears to be peeled away, revealing the next, which is in turn peeled back at the next turn, and so on.

It’s both an artistic approach to presenting change and the possibilities to reinvent within the digital medium, and an intriguing means of commenting on the nature of identity and how we present ourselves in the physical world. While we may not be able to change our looks here, we do “change” according to circumstance, situation and those around us: the person we are with a lover is not the same as the person we are with a child; the person we present to colleagues at work is not the same as the one we share with our closest friends, and so on. Thus, Selfies might be seen as a reflection of this.

Club LA and Gallery: Twain Orfan

Twain Orfan his been active in Second Life for over eight years, but only immersed himself in the world of SL photography in 2016. “I enjoy taking photo [the] art of items that are often overlooked when photographers visit various sims,” he says of his work. “Finding pure art in objects such as a chair, a table, a flower-pot, or, perhaps a bicycle. From time to time I also try my hand at Landscapes, or an occasional shot involving my own avatar.”

An Exhibition reflects all of this with a collection of 18 images taken from around second life, all of which also demonstrate Twain’s interest in, and experiment with, angle, light and shadow. What is particularly fascinating with the images is the fact they are all raw: Twain resists the use of GIMP or Photoshop for post-processing, relying instead purely on the viewer and Windlight for his pictures. The result is a fascinating collection of pieces which are individual and collectively eye-catching, offering unique windows into our virtual lives.

Club LA and Gallery: Twain Orfan

Both Selfies: Some of My Faces and An Exhibition make for an engaging visit, with the latter officially opening at 12:00 noon on Sunday, August 20th, with music by Marain Dufaux.

The new gallery space itself offers more room for exhibitions, and includes a landscaped garden visitors can enjoy and an information centre / studio space. Teleport disks are provided to assist visitors in getting around – although in truth, everything at ground level is within easy walking distance of the landing point.

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