Storie’s Helendale (GlitterPrincess Destiny) has a reputation for producing thought-provoking installations that often combine narrative and art. Such is the case with Kiss Like a Blow, which opened at the Black Label Exhibitions Centre on Saturday, February 9th, 2019.
Reaching the installation is a two-step process: take the teleport sphere from the gallery’s landing area up to the introductory area, where some essential information on the installation can be found – and should be read. Once done, a second teleport sphere will carry you up to the installation proper.
This project was done in regards to No Violence by 2lei … Only I chose to do my own Story, my way. A strange love story, somewhat – twisted. Is this your story?
– Storie’s Helendale, discussing Kiss Like A Blow
This takes the form of a house sitting within a winter setting – and given the focus of the installation, I would say this winter setting is intentional, as the coldness reflects the core of the story. Within this house are five rooms and six diaries. On the walls of each of the rooms are pictures that tell the story of what should be the happiest day in the lives of two people in love, a story reflected in the diaries.
The latter are to be found throughout the house, at least one per room. Some are hidden in plain sight, others will need to be found. The story they reveal is written from the perspective of the female half of the couple. As Storie’s hints, this is not the usual tale of a couple in love – but it is a story thousands of women will recognise, and one so unfortunately often the subject of news reports.
At 2lei and One Billion Rising (which will once again be taking place in Second Life on Thursday, 14th February 2019), the vast majority of violence against women and girl is of a domestic nature perpetrated by loved one, be they a spouse, a partner, a parent or a relative.
Women caught in these situations are often unable to break out of a cycle of love and violence. It is a harrowing, heartbreaking situation; one in which physical blows are seen by the victim the equivalent of kisses, and manipulation viewed as an expression of love; where the emotional need for love and affection overrules the instinct for self-preservation.
All of this is reflected within Kiss Like A Blow, offered both as a means to bring the plight of so many women into the light – and perhaps a means of holding a mirror to those who might be all too familiar with the story through their own lives, and by doing so, perhaps encourage them take steps to end their own cycle. Hence Storie’s comment: Is this your story?
It’s a dark subject, but one handled with care and concern for the subject by Storie’s. The narrative is presented in blank verse, the images intentionally stepped away from pictures of overt violence – something that makes Kiss Like A Blow a poignant installation.
- Kiss Like A Blow, Black Label Exhibition Corner (Eternal Possession, rated: Moderate)