The Overwhelm: Animesh and expressive art in Second Life

Ribong Gallery: The Overwhelm

Santoshima recently extended a personal invitation to me to view the latest exhibition at her Ribong Gallery. Entitled The Overwhelm, the installation is by Meiló Minotaur, and it presents a layered, animated piece that marks – for me, anyway – the first art installation to use Animesh within its presentation.

This is actually a difficult piece to quantify. In part this is due to the minimalism involved – a series of blocked-out spaces intended to represent a house; it’s also because viewing it, one perhaps gravitates away from the provided description towards an alternative possible interpretation.

The Overwhelm is both a house and a stage, where private life presents itself in its slow, disturbing anguish. This animated installation is about family, and about the overbearing weight of being responsible for a new life, about disconnection, excruciating loneliness, and the shared commonness of this experience.

– CapCat Ragu, explaining the Overwhelm on behalf of Mieló Minotaur

Ribong Gallery: The Overwhelm

The term “new life” suggests this is a piece about the anxiety surrounding a forthcoming birth; the setting suggests something else: the anxiety felt when a child has failed to return home as expected. This interpretation fits the later comment in the description, which defines the colours and tone of the setting as,”distressing mood, with an implication of imminent violence”.

But for me, there is a third interpretation: a couple who have in fact lost their child and are both surrounded by memories of  that child in the form of the haunting wall images, and trapped within the simmering tension of loss, blame and recrimination. All of which, wrapped within that sense of grief, is waiting to explode outwards in anger and violence toward whichever of them gives cause through a wrong action or word.

Ribong Gallery: The Overwhelm

The Animesh models give a physical dimension to the atmosphere of anxiety, looming anger, anguish and hurt through their pacing, head movements, and through their shape. The exaggerated points of the male figure’s shoulders convey a sense of hunch-shouldered annoyance as he strides in his place, for example.

Curious, involved, oddly attractive, The Overwhelm is open through to November 2019.

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