The Miniature Goal

The Miniature Goal
The Miniature Goal

“What if our physical world shrunk in proportion to the resources we drain from it?”

That’s the question Haveit Neox posits in The Miniature Goal, which opens at 14:00 SLT at the Art India Galley on Saturday February 1st.

It’s an intriguing question; one that results in an intriguing installation. Within the walled space, sits a Venice-like city in miniature, through which boats pass along the waterways; but this is far from the romance of Venice.

The Miniature Goal
The Miniature Goal

On the horizon marches a series of gigantic oil derricks, beyond which a strange weather pattern turns ominously. There is tension here between the city, the oil derricks and even Mother nature herself as a closer look at the city reveals that it is not build around canals and waterways, it is in fact slowly drowning in what appears to be a rising sea. Then there are the giants, wading through the water or perched atop some of the buildings at the edge of the city – how do they fit into this series of juxtaposed images?

“We deplete resources all across the globe,” Haveit warns us, “yet in our homes we may feel few repercussions. Though we don’t actually visit the oil spills, the cleared forests, or the mines, let’s imagine how it would appear, were our everyday life reflected proportionately to the current depletion. If our bedroom walls were to shrink at the same percentage as the forests or the extinction of species for instance, how high exactly would our walls become?”

The Miniature Goal
The Miniature Goal

And thus the truth of the piece is revealed. The city is wracked by the consequences of an ecosystem knocked completely off-kilter by our global activities, and the “giants” are in fact those who have found  their homes have shrunk as a result.

It’s a dark scenario but one with a visual impact which underlines the further questions Haveit poses about the future we may face if we don’t learn to control our appetites when it comes to the resources the world has to offer and we continue to ravage the ecosystem without pause. The various elements in the installation are each captivating in their own right, whilst flowing together as a whole.

The Miniature Goal will formally open at 14:00 SLT on Saturday February 1st, as mentioned, and will remain open through to March. The opening will feature music by Nnoiz Papp, which might feature tracks from his new album, Orientopolis – which has more than likely found its way onto my “things to purchase” list…

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Faces: where the façade reveals

Faces at Art India
Faces at Art India

A new exhibit opened at Veekay Navarathna’s Art India recently. Faces is a collection of paintings by Canadian artist Liana Russwurm (Lilianna Clarity in SL), curated by Quan Lavender.

The pieces are reproductions of Liana’s real-life paintings, and as the name of the exhibition suggests, largely focuses on paintings of people’s faces. However, these are by no means “simple” portraits. The subjects are often masked, either physically or with make-up / paint; some are apparently playful, others innocently happy. All of them, however, tell a story, a story which reaches out to us through the facade of the mask, make-up, face paint or playfulness.

Faces at Art India
Faces at Art India

Born into an artistic family, Liana draws from contemporary media and culture such as reality television, fashion magazines and billboards, as well as her own experiences. Her biography reveals the approach taken to the works on display at Art India, which are themselves drawn from a real life exhibition of her pieces called Façade:

Through the use of staged photo shoots, props, costumes and make-up, she aims to strip away the layers of the individual, invoking a fragmented yet authentic portrait of her subject. She is most interested in “the figure”, and capturing the essence of the model.

Faces at Art India
Faces at Art India

Several of the pieces stand in strong contrast to one another, and it is worth taking the time to work your way around the paintings on the outer walls of the exhibit space in “order” – starting with the two young girls facing you from across the room, as your arrive at the teleport point. Both have the genuine innocence of childhood about them . Follow the pieces around the walls, however, and the different stories come into their own, giving us a unique window into the thoughts – perhaps the very souls – of the models,

This is an intriguing exhibit, which runs through until January 21st. For those drawn particularly strongly to any particular piece(s) – and I confess, a couple did catch my eye – they are available at L$700 each.

Faces at Art India
Faces at Art India

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Mixed Pixels while in a Dream of India

Mixed pixelsQuan Lavender sent me an invitation to preview a new exhibition at Art India Galley. Mixed Pixels, which opens on Thursday October 17th, 2013 at 14:00 SLT, will run through until November 30th, 2013.

The exhibition brings together a number of SL artists from differing backgrounds, all of whom have two things in common: they’re actively engaged in Second Life, and they all hail from Germany.

There are also two reasons for the exhibition, as Quan (who is herself German and is the exhibit’s curator) explains in her invite to bloggers.

Burk Bode - Mixed Pixels
Burk Bode – Mixed Pixels 1

Firstly, the exhibition is a virtual contribution to the Festival der Liebe (Festival of Love), a cultural event run by the German Community in Second Life, and which this year takes place between October 17th and October 21st. Secondly, Quan feels that the German Community’s contribution to art in SL has perhaps been a little overshadowed by other nationalities, with German artists preferring, as she puts it, to assimilate with others rather than present on their own.

This exhibition, covering two display areas at Art India linked by a teleport system, brings together the work of Ataro Asbrink, Burk Bode, Cutea Benelli, Draxtor Despres, Kayle Matzerath, Nelson Lorvannagan), Ole Etzel. orlando di strada (gnupf Gufler), Quika Basevi, Sina Souza and WuWai Chun, each of whom has been provided with space in which to exhibit works of their choosing. Together they demonstrate just how broad and deep art is within Second Life.

Nelson - Mixed Pixels
Nelson – Mixed Pixels 2

Each of the individual exhibit spaces has its own appeal; the subject matter encompasses everything from delightful creativity through inspiring photography, the power of media to political statements on the shape and state of our society.

Several of the pieces on display are interactive in one way or another; there’s a puzzle to solve, buttons to press, levers to pull. Nelson Lorvannagan offers a number of his photos which demonstrate why, since arriving in Second Life in July 2013, he has become one of the most highly regarded photographers on the grid – as his Flickr stream more than demonstrates. His creativity and composition are to be admired and aspired to.

WuWai Chun - Mixed Pixels
WuWai Chun – Mixed Pixels 1

As well as presenting his Coded Movie at the exhibit, Ataro Asbrink will also be hosting a workshop on Sunday October 27th. Cutea Benelli, meanwhile, offers up two fun pieces which add a dash of humour and demonstrate beautiful creativity.

Her Shakespeare 2.0 Apparatus shows us that the infinite monkey theorem is actually incorrect. Rather than needing a monkey a typewriter and an infinite amount of time in order to reproduce something like Shakespeare’s works (in whole or in part), all you need is a chimpanzee, a banana and a time machine. The banana actually appears to upset the apple cart somewhat (if I might mix my fruits) given some of the results, but the Apparatus isl only a beta unit, so allowances must be made :). It does, however, show that the late Douglas Adams may have been somewhat closer to the mark in his interpretation of the theorem!

Cutea Benelli - Mixed Pixels
Cutea Benelli – Mixed Pixels 2

Alongside the Apparatus sits the Evil Haiku Automaton, an exquisite piece of work (also available to buy), which will offer-up a personal Haiku with more than the usual twist. For example:

Well, bon appetit /  I am so hungry / Dark murmur of my chainsaw

This is small, but fascinating exhibit, well-worth the visit. The 14:00 SLT opening will be accompanied by music from DJ Dixie Jefferson, and as noted above, the exhibit runs through until the end of November.

Dream of India

When visiting Mixed Pixels, do take time to wander around the Art India region. There are more exhibits to see, both in-door and out. In the grounds, you’ll find works by Tyrehl Byk, Trill Zapatero, Claudia222 Jewell and elros Tuomimen , as well as Robin Moore’s Relation Tower.

These all sit amidst a reworking of the land around the gallery, entitled Dream of India and which features places to sit, paths to wander and additional builds, including a magnificent palace built by Nepherses Amat, and on loan to the gallery.

Dream of India
Dream of India – the Palace by Nepherses Amat

Elsewhere is a temple (please remove footwear before entering!), a new bazaar with Indian-themed and inspired goods, a meditation centre, dance floor, and more, all of which is also officially opening on Thursday October 17th.

Teleport boards scattered through the region make getting around easier if you don’t fancy walking. If you prefer, you can take to horseback or you can even take a guided tour, courtesy of – what else? – a magic carpet!

Dream of India
Dream of India

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