GET OUT is an invitation into turning your compy off, grabbing the first quite satisfying camera you can find and into getting down the street, breathing more or less fresh air and look at your surroundings with new eyes, a street photographer (amateur or not) eyes. Soon, you’ll feel overwhelmed by the duality you can find in a city: darkness and light, colours and grey tones, tradition and modernity, beauty and ugliness, life and death.
– Insane Focus (aka Loviathar Hellman & Moolfryt Klang)
These are the opening words Loviathar and Moolfryt offer as an introduction to their joint exhibition Get Out, which opened on August 19th, 2021. And as they go on to note, this is not a call to rebel against common sense precautions in the face of the continuing SARS-CoV-2 situation, but rather a call to those who might spend a little too much time in front of the computer (/me coughs and avoids looking into the eyes of my reflection in the monitor) to take the proper precautions and then get out and spend a little time in the big, wide world – preferably with a camera in hand.
In this, Get Out leads by example. Occupying the Kondor Art Square in Second Life, it is a celebration on multiple levels. On the first, it is a celebration of the artists’ time spent visiting numerous locations across Europe from England through Belgium, France, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Greece. On the second, it is a celebration of one of the most powerful genres of photography – street photography; a means to capture and document moments in time and place and the lives of people around the world as they go about their daily lives.
Thirdly, it offers a celebration of the world of photography, opening is it did on August 19th, 2021, World Photography Day.
It was on that date, back in 1839 that France took it upon itself to offer to the world the Daguerreotype process of photographic image development. Developed by Louis Daguerre, the technique (using a highly polished sheet of silver-plated copper mentioned) was not the first means to “fix” an image captured through a camera lens onto a medium – Daguerre actually built his technique on the work of his uncle, Nicéphore Niépce whilst others around the world were developing their own techniques – but it was the first publicly available technique of photographic image development, and in doing so, it started a movement that led directly to popular photography as we know it today.
Set out by country, some of the photos focus on a single centre (e.g. London in the case of the UK, Rhodos in the case of Greece) or two or more ports of call within a country (as with, for example, France and Belgium). The images presented are richly diverse in subject, tone and use of colour, each one fully capable of transporting its audience to the place it frames and the the glimpse of the story it has to tell, as well as allowing us to personally share in Loviathar and Moolfryt’s travels. All of them remind us of the power of the photographic lens to record a single moment of time and a unique perspective on that moment as seen through the eye(s) of the photographer; one that can be both deeply personal and increasingly historical as time passes.
Get Out also reminds us that photography is open to all of us to try. Maybe we cannot all be a Dorothea Lange or a Lee Friedlander or a William Klein or an André Kertész – or a Loviathar or Moolfryt – and we might not be able to travel to distant towns and cities; but that doesn’t matter. The camera gives us the opportunity to capture moments across the very town we live in (and the opportunity to experience time away from the computer, as the exhibition’s intro notes). So why not go see Get Out and let it offer inspiration, then take the advice of the artists and take time away from the computer and get out and see what the streets around you have to say about themselves?
- Kondor Art Square (Waka, rated Moderate)