There is another world, but it is inside this one.
– Paul Eluard
This is the quote Cica Ghost has selected for the description of her March 2022 installation, Green Planet, which opened on Saturday March 5th. Whilst most quotations give Eluard as saying “in”, rather than “inside”, it is nevertheless an entirely appropriate quote for the installation, and for at least two reasons – which I’ll come to in a moment, and promise not to offer an entire treatise on them!
Follow the SLurl (or the LM, if you have that!), and you’ll be delivered to the bowl of what might be an ancient impact crater, almost completely ringed by green-covered hills. The only way out – worryingly – is a gaping maw overseen by a single large, roving eye, and from within which rise or hang green stalagmites and stalactites – or might they be teeth?!
However, the maw is not that deep and is not waiting to chomp down on you when you attempt to pass; rather it is a gateway to a curved gorge-like canyon, its walls and floor again almost slimed in green and from which green flowers point their trumpet-like blooms at the strange orange-green sky.
The far end of this valley opens out into an even more alien landscape, a place inhabited by strange slug-like creatures as green as the their surroundings, some with what we would regard as the normal complement of eyes, others with decidedly monocular vision and still some with no real indication of any form of eye or eyes. Fat-lipped and bulbous-headed, they are clearly not of Earthly origin, and the mix with more of the strange maw-like creatures and one or two that have legs.
Throughout this landscape, more of the trumpet-like flowers point to the sky, and many of the undulating features have the feel of having been extruded rather than formed, while green globs drool from fronds and rocks as if someone has thrown green paint across this place – or perhaps it is the gunk thrown out by whatever caused the impact crater that is home to the landing point! Also to be found here are little fumeroles that periodically burp forth green bubbles that drift upwards, while grass-like fronds that have escaped any smothering by the green goop curl gently.
Sitting pristine within the setting is a silvered metal rocket, panels heavily riveted and a single viewport looking out over the scene – but the creature with its face pressed to the thick beaded glass does not appear to be human. The presence of the rocket and its traveller, together with a glass-domed very Earthly-looking flower, add perfectly to the overall surrealism of the setting.
And surrealism is one of the reasons the quote Cica has chosen for the setting is so apt: Eluard was one of the founders of the Surrealist movement, dedicated to opening channels in the mind as a means for the unconscious mind to express itself. In this respect, there is much to be said about Second Life and the manner in which we can use it to express ideas of our own and unlock our imaginations in a way that somewhat parallels surrealism’s attempts to unlock the subconscious.
The second element in the fitting choice of Eluard’s quote is that just as there is a myriad of worlds out amongst the stars of our galaxy, some of which – perhaps many – might will harbour strange and exotic life that might be celebrated through the bizarre creatures Cica has given us here; we have only to look inwards to find equally fabulous “other worlds” as they sit within our imaginations. Worlds like Cica’s Green Planet – wonderfully bizarre and captivating, unusual, engaging and fun (be sure to mouse over things – there are hidden dances awaiting discovery and a number of fun poses to be had – although you might have to look up at what is drifting around overhead to find the latter!).
As always, another great installation from Cica, who never fails to offer something fresh and eye-catching each month, so do please consider making a donation to her on-going work when visiting! And don’t forget the gift at the landing point!