Melusina Parkin returns to the Nitroglobus Roof Gallery for October, with an exhibition called Mysteries, and it is a thought-provoking display of photography.
“Missing faces, veiled ones, obscure looks,” Melusina states in introducing the exhibition. “Statues and mannequins populate Second Life with their mysterious mood. Sometimes they are creepy, sometimes they are gentle, always they are silent.”
Thus, Mysteries presents thirteen images of mannequins, figures and statues captured from around Second Life. Such figures, to be found all over the grid, whether in stores or art events, parks or role-play regions, homes or photography studios, all have some kind of story to tell – be it part of a larger setting or contained within the frame of their own display as a work of art or object of everyday use.
So to, through Melusina’s collection, do they tell a story or stories within this exhibition. The images have clearly been selected with care to project this, Mystery 10 through Mystery 13, for example, are displayed together on two walls, presenting an unfolding narrative – although what that narrative might be is up to each of us as we view the images. Others, such as Mystery 7 perhaps tell a story quite independently of the other pieces in the collection. But however one looks at them, the stories are there, individual or collected, waiting to be heard.
But there is more here as well, if we’re willing to look a little deeper. Our avatars are, in a sense, our own mannequins. Through them, we get to decide not only how we interact with one another, but how we actually appear to one another. We can project – or inhabit – our avatars at will, using them to reveal or hide, project or protect, many different facets of who we are. They are both a window into who we are and a shield by which we can hide the things we do not wish to have seen. Mystery 2 and Mystery 3 perhaps embody this most specifically.
So as Melusina states, Mysteries may present an apparently lifeless population – but in doing so, it makes us wonder about human feelings and thoughts – and particularly, perhaps about our own feeling and thoughts, about our identity, relationship with others, and our openness.
Mysteries is another nuanced, fascinating exhibition from Melusina; and yet another not to be missed.
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery (Sunshine Homestead, rated: Moderate)