Open until the end of January 2019 at The Womb, the basement gallery space at DiXmiX Gallery, is Art Neveux, by Nevereux, and which I assume is a little play on her name and the term art nouveau.
A selection of constructs that offer 3D works designed to appear almost two-dimensional, this a somewhat difficult selection of art to quantify, being very subjective in nature – as Nevereux herself notes:
Design is fine. History is mine. An argument for art. Prim-cakes and some technology. Around the corner there is some extreme context. Others, so deliberately meaningless. If you want, it’s slathering jam on a toast. Sticking just for fun. And may whatever holds you up stay forever beneath you.
These are all pieces that are decidedly geometric in nature, presented in black and white, with red at times putting in an appearance. The net result is a series of stark – in the sense of their boldness – pieces that nevertheless have within them a sense of balance. Whilst art nouveau may well be suggested by the exhibition title, I’d perhaps lean towards its presence in the works here being only in a very modern interpretation; I tended to look on many of the pieces as being more abstract in nature, with some also carrying art deco motifs.
What I did find particularly interesting is the manner in which much of the art has been constructed. Rather than being completely original, most of the individual pieces are in fact constructs put together using building components by the likes of VetronUK, Chaser Haks and Isabelle Stoop. There is nothing wrong with art being created in this way, it happens all the time in the physical world; however, seeing the manner in which building components have been used within these pieces did have me recalling a discussion around an installation by another artist (and in another place) from earlier in the year.
Within that other installation, use was made of a series of mesh items readily available via the SL Marketplace, with little or no change made to them beyond outside of some retexturing. This led to a question being raised on whether the inclusion of such elements constituted “fair use”, and whether they justified the installation as a work of art; the argument being that their use hadn’t been sufficiently “transformative” to warrant either. It was not a view to which I could agree; I felt the inclusion of such elements was both fair and transformative, simply because they were integral to one’s response to, and interpretation of, the installation as a whole.
Such is the case here. Yes, many of the components used are “off the shelf” mesh shapes and forms designed to assist builders. However, the manner in which they have been brought together within individual pieces is transformative, both in terms of their individual use and in our interpretation of each complete piece.
There is also, in keeping with Nevereux’s own words, a sense of playfulness and illusion about some of the pieces offered (such as Palm Leaf, Belong, Warrior and Perspective, each of which should be cammed over carefully). These perhaps stand in reflection of the artist’s own nature – or perhaps a reminder that perhaps we shouldn’t look to deeply into individual pieces in order to discern “meaning”.
- DiXmiX Gallery (Bay Port, rated: Moderate)