A touch of Venetian H.R. Giger in Second Life

Giger Dead Venice, October 2022 – click any image for full size

I’ve missed out on a couple of recent builds by Hera (Zee9) – her builds have a habit of coming and going with some rapidity -, so when she dropped me the landmark to her October / Halloween 2022 build, I tried to hop over as soon as time permitted in the hope a write-up would reach the pages of my blog in time for others to enjoy this latest outing.

Giger Dead Venice brings together one of Hera’s poplar builds wrapped into a science-fiction / horror theme that is perfect for the season. The build in question is Venesha, Hera’s take on Venice, and which has often been a setting suggestive of dark arts, vampires, and the undead. The S-F / horror theme is that of H.R. Giger, as witnessed through the original Alien film and some of his broader work.

Giger Dead Venice, October 2022

Reached by taking a gondola teleport from the region’s landing point, this is a again a build that is unique Hera – with the majority of the mesh elements used within it created by her and utilising over 200 new textures she also created for the build. This version of Venesha also brings with it an enlarged port area, reflecting a recent version of Venesha reworked as the port of Kar from the Gor novels – one of the builds that did not see much light of day before being removed.

In terms of the Giger re-dress, this is exceptionally well done, with a richness of references to his and his work on the Alien movie to be found throughout. In this, Giger Dead Venice – to me – surpasses Drune Giger City, her H.R.G. inspired re-working of her Drune city (see: Hera’s Drune Giger City in Second Life).

Giger Dead Venice, October 2022

I say this because of the rich layering of motifs and in drawing out some of the more sexual aspects found in some of Giger’s work and combining them with suggestions of fetish and BDSM – at this point, I should note that aspects of this iteration of Venesha (or Venice if you prefer) might be considered somewhat NSFW.

The sexual elements are perhaps most obvious in some of the genitalia-like entrances to buildings and the phallic, umm, extensions around the base of the remodelled cathedral. However, these are not simply gratuitous, they are fully in keeping with much of Giger’s art, which often included a combinations of sexual / horror elements (just take his original drawings for the head and tail of his Xenomorph, as a basic example).

Giger Dead Venice, October 2022

Within the cathedral are more direct references to the Alien films – face hugger eggs, sculptures of baby Xenomorphs bursting from the chests of imprisoned humans, and etchings depicting the alien and a humanoid similar to the one known as the Pilot / Space Jockey.

The cathedral is not the only interior to the buildings here. For example, to the north, the church-like building has now been replaced by a temple with a mystical star map at its heart, whilst to the south and east, within what had at one time been home to a library, sits a lounge bar that more directly combines the Giger influences with elements seen within some of Hera’s previous lounge and bar designs and BDSM and sci-fi motifs. As for the others, such as the café and bistro-style settings, I’ll leave them to you to find.

Giger Dead Venice, October 2022

Other touches suitable for the Halloween season might also be found by the keen-eyed, offering a clever mix of the classical with that of H.P. Lovecraft, and what might be seen as a subtle commentary on the modern-day horror of right-wing “Christian” politics which puts love of the gun above love of human life.

Caught under a lurid sky that paints the setting with an otherworldly green tinge – the build really should be seen under the default EEP setting – Giger Dead Venice has much with which to commend itself to visitors and photographers. With its waterside walks, alleys, sculptures, mists and symbolism, it is one of the more imaginative “Halloween”-type settings I’ve seen this year – and definitely the most imaginative builds Hera has offered.

Giger Dead Venice, October 2022

Hera notes that there is no strict dress code for the setting, “But latex, rubber, leather, and metal just about covers it, or not depending on your preference 🙂 .”

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