Currently open at the 22 Art Space in Bellisseria, operated and curated by Ricco Saenz and Randy Firebrand, is a shared exhibition of images by two Second Life photographers – Dutch Ireman and Evie – that is built around the theme of Duet, or pairing. Although as Randy and Ricco explain in the exhibition’s introductory notes, the theme was actually suggested by the art offered by the artists, rather – as is more usually the case – the theme informing the art that is offered:
The concept … was born more or less by chance. At first [we] selected four pictures of each artist’s established production and suggested that Evie and Dutch complete the sets of images in a way that would make some sense to them. The results came with a positive surprise: even if each photographer … provided the gallery with photos that could be arranged in sets of two. In other words, the concept for the exhibition just emerged from that: there were duets – both of pictures and of ways to think of those photographs.
Thus, through the rooms at 22 Art Space, are hung eight images by Dutch and eight by Evie, each artist offering them as complementary pairs (4 pairs from Evie, four from Dutch). The images in each pair are able to stand as both an individual pieces in their own right and as one half of a broader story. Take, for example, Dutch’s Connecting and Connected, located on the upper floor of the gallery. Each offers a statement on human connectedness that can be appreciated in its own right; but they also stand together as a pair of images that give a wholeness to that theme of connectedness and connection.
Given that each artist was given free reign over how they took the four images initially selected by Ricco and Randy and added to them to offer a selection for the exhibition, that both Evie and Dutch both independently arrived at the idea of pairing off their images (rather than simply adding and additional four, either randomly or based along a single collective theme) is genuinely intriguing. It also speaks to an interesting harmony between their individual approaches to the the exhibition that further this idea of duet: their individual voices as photographers coming together in unison in how they present their pieces as individual pairings.
And just as a duet can comprise contrasting harmonies and / or voices working together through the combined singing of different lyrics or one offering the melody, the other a descant around it, so too does Duet. Evie, for example, presents images that largely have darker backdrops and /or deeper colours, forming, one might say, a “descant” to the “melody” of Dutch’s work, with its bolder, vibrant mix of colours and backdrop, with both harmonising their their respective use of tone, angles and lighting.
Completed by various items placed around the gallery that help underpin the idea of duets and pairings – a rug with the yin-yang pattern, a pair of shoes, tennis rackets and balls – Duets is a small, engaging exhibition that run through until December 11th.
- The 22 Art Space in Bellisseria (Grenouille, Bellisseria)