EXTRAprimitives is a new art installation by Nevereux that is open through until the end of November 2019, thanks to the sponsorship of Dreamseeker Estates. A semi-immersive installation, it is a multi-faceted piece that has been through a long gestation period, rooted in the idea of offering a piece intended to be largely theme-free, as Nevereux explains in her introductory notes to the exhibit:
EXTRAprimitives – a project I started in April 2018, initiated for fun and with no great theme in mind, a project I wouldn’t be doing without the support of people* who believe in art. Personally, I believe in love.
– Nevereux, introducing EXTRAprimitives
Interestingly however, the installation opens with a “Manifesto” – or perhaps commentary might be a better term – that revolves around a series of observations on life, offered in a semi-cryptic manner. As one progresses through the installation, it is evident that those cryptic messages are evident as observations within EXTRAprimitives. They exist as a thread, rather than theme, that gently runs through the broader tapestry of pieces, coming to the fore here and there before slipping quietly back into the weave before again coming to the fore.
The best way to describe the installation is perhaps as a series of vignettes and displays. Some are defined within walled display spaces; others stand free on the walls. Each vignette or display is unique unto itself, with many offering a celebration of the creative potential within SL, again as Nevereux noted to me in conversation:
There is a bit of everything because when I started [I had] this idea [of] was what can I do with a cube and a sphere. Sadly, [due to space limitations] this is only half of the collection. I sacrificed the straight cube and sphere ones for the more interesting or meaningful ones.
So it is that EXTRAPrimitives offers an extraordinary richness of content from the more light-hearted (notably among the signs on along the back wall of the installation – although several of these also provoke the grey matter between the ears into cogitating – through to the completely psychedelic Healing – which those who find moving lights and / or are prone to motion sickness should enter with care (and you should enter the piece with your avatar and draw your camera full inside Healing’s “box” to appreciate it properly).
The commentary on modern life can be found threaded throughout the installation within pieces such as Evolution, with it’s very clear Apple Inc., reference, Nothing Is All White and Inner Mechanism. Sometimes, as with these pieces, the reference is clear; elsewhere it is more subtle – such as with In A Bar, where the emptiness of the bar setting references the lack of genuine socialising modern life encourages.
Similarly, the piece reflecting Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures perhaps references the punk / Goth movements a lot less than it does the album becoming something of an anthem of the digital “social” age (e.g. as reflected in its use within the likes of Ready Player One), and so again underscores the shallowness in eschewing face-to-face social interaction in favour of the structured artificiality of virtual socialising.
Some of the pieces also offer a broader commentary on life. Feelings, for example appears to highlight the advertiser’s peddling of the idea that a genuine emotional response can be obtained via a can of soda. Meanwhile Fine Line points a finger at the collapse of social leadership with a clear reference to current politics, while Love Hate illustrates, perhaps the slow erasure of the separation between civility and incivility in society.
There is also something of a personal statement here as well: EXTRAprimitives might be considered Nevereux’s legacy to Second Life arts, as she indicated to me that for her, the platform is perhaps not what it used to be and the time is ripe to turn her attention to pastures new, although she will continue to cheer the work of other artists. If true, this additionally makes a visit to the installation something not to be missed.
However you look at EXTRAPrimitives, it is richly expressive and engaging, with wonderful layering throughout that is likely to have you looking at the various pieces more than once as the brain cells start contemplating ideas, themes and constructs. As noted, it will remain open through until November 30th, 2019.
- EXTRAprimitives (Sunshine Meadows, rated Moderate)