Saturday, October 20th saw the opening of a new joint exhibition by CapCat Ragu and Meiló (meilo Minotaur) at DiXmiX Gallery – “joint” because not only are the two sharing the exhibition, they are also close friends in-world. A further connection between them is there respective exhibits share something of a related surrealist / post-modern surrealist lean that offers a subtext on identity.
CaPCat’s exhibition reside in the gallery’s Black Gallery hall on the lower floor. Entitled Fading, it presents a progressive series of images of an avatar’s head and shoulders, each labelled simply as “fading” with a number. Starting with Fading #1, with what appears to be a slightly out-of-focus study, they offer increasingly overlaid images in which the subject’s features are increasingly offset and overlaid, increasingly more detached from one another to become almost collage-like in form.
By presenting multiple, overlaid images, each picture raises questions of who we really are: we offer so many faces to the world – even to each other, no matter how well was know one another – that who we really are becomes blurred and distorted; the different versions of self overlaying one another, something almost combining, other times trying to become separate.
Within the gallery, the pieces have apparently been deliberately arranged out-of-sequence, suggesting the order isn’t so important as the commentary each individual piece makes on identity / the nature of self. However, I admit to finding following them in ascending order from Fading #1, gave the pieces an added narrative.
Located in the White Gallery hall on the mezzanine level, Meiló presents Stranger in a Strange Land, a series of intriguing paintings – self-portraits? – each bright with colour. They depict an almost albino-like figure making her way through scenes and settings, mostly alone, but sometimes in the company of another – although she tends to always be the focus of the pictures.
Incorporating a blurred, hazy quality, the paintings have a similar surreal edge to them as the photos in the hall below. This not only causes the viewer to focus on the main subject, but also highlights the idea of travelling through a strange land: a world defined less by shape and form and more by colour. In doing so, they again seem to suggest a questioning of self: who we are within the world through which we travel, and what our place might be within that world. In this the albino-like presentation of the main figure adds to the questions raised, perhaps causing us to question who we are within this world – physical or digital.
When taken individually or as linked collections, Fading and Stranger in a Strange Land present thought-provoking exhibitions, something a little different for DiXmiX, but also something worth visiting and evaluation for yourself.
- DiXmiX Gallery (Bay Port, rated: Moderate)