Tag Archives: Nitroglobus

Awakening in Second Life

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

“I am grabbing things that appear in front of me, moments and sensations. I keep them as treasures, which are open in moments when I want to colour the silence,” Natalia Seranade says in introducing her work. “When my imagination and fantasies are flying, I mix the collected stuff with new things that appear in the moment, I never know what can appear, and I never know what will be the result. I am in another world where I am able to find what was unknown to my eyes.”

It’s a description which encapsulates her work perfectly: moments captured in time, filtered through a lens of imagination and the inspiration which occurs in the very instant of creativity to produce a striking image, often rich in emotion and subtext. And it is a description which in turn is perfectly framed by Awakening, an exhibition of Natalia’s work on display at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Haas, during September / October 2016.

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

Awakening is a visual interpretation of the philosophical / psychological idea that everything we see in the world, all the encounters we have, intimate, friendly, happy, unhappy, and so on, in whatever we do, are in fact a reflection of ourselves. As Natalia notes, it is perhaps best embodied on a personal level through our interactions and relationships by the saying your perception of me Is a reflection of you, my reaction to you is an awareness of me.

Within Awakening, we have an exploration of this concept. In viewing the images, colourful, striking, blended through considered use of PhotoShop, we are directly challenged to consider what is it within ourselves that drives our reactions to them, and how does our perception of the art – the individual pieces and the collective whole of the exhibition – speak to our own nature?

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

It’s an intriguing approach; when witnessing art – or anything we find attractive or unattractive – it is easy to externalise our reaction, as to what is right / wrong about the art (or event or person, etc.). If we consider what might be within us that drives our reaction, it is generally only on a superficial level. We rarely delve deeply into our own psyche to determine what might be working within ourselves to generate that reaction, or what may have been at work to inform any perceptions we have about art, virtual or otherwise. Within Awakening, we’re being asked to do just that.

This may not be a comfortable subject for some – but it is an intriguing one, and something which perhaps gives us greater pause in visiting this exhibit than might otherwise be the case. But just because there is a deeper potential within Awakening for introspection and questions about ourselves shouldn’t be used as a reason to not visit. Jungian considerations aside, as noted towards the top of this article, the images within Awakening beautifully exemplify Natalia’s approach to her art. They are striking pieces, rich in colour, imagery and emotion, deserving to be witnessed and appreciated.

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

Nitroglobus Hall: Awakening

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All_Most Real in Second Life

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Now open through July at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Haas, is ALL_MOST REAL, an exhibition by MM (myster). Comprising 18 monochrome nude and avatar studies, it is an extraordinary exhibit, demonstrating both the depth of mood, feeling and sheer realism which can be achieved through Second Life photography, whilst also highlighting the extraordinarily narrow boundary which exists in our perception of what might constitute “reality”.

ALL_MOST REAL is a quest on reality and perception, and how they influence our emotions,” the artist states in introductory notes for the exhibition. “We know perceptions win over facts and reality so many times, conditioning our lives. In MM’s search for realism, could it be that the doll finally (like Pinocchio) transforms pixels into flesh?”

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Of the 18 images presented here, with six from the physical world, the rest from the virtual. Together they offer a set of works not only of subtle, sensual beauty, each with its own story to tell, they also toy with our perceptions, and invite questions on the nature of reality and transformation. Where, exactly, does the avatar model cease and the human model start – and vice versa?

Which is not to say that any formal challenge is being made to visitors; there is no demand that we attempt to sort one from the other – although MM did tell me that she did ask several friends to examine the images to see if they could! Rather, as she notes in her introduction to the exhibition, it doesn’t matter if you solve the “puzzle” of which images might have been taken in which medium; it is on how they individually and collectively speak to you, and the journey they encourage you to take.

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

This challenge to our perceptions of the avatar / human “divide” also resonates deeper, touching on matters such as our own level of investment in our avatars; the way in which we can project our living essence into the digital through them. Thus the journey offered in studying the pictures becomes uniquely personal.

Some three months in the making, All_MOST REAL is a stunning and captivating exhibition; one which really should not be missed. Whether depicting a physical model or an avatar, the beauty and life permeating each of the images is as undeniable as it is breathtaking. Take All_Most Real 15, for example (below). Such is the natural depth and tone to the picture, it is hard to escape the feeling – the desire – that if we look long enough, the subject’s eyes will open and her lips will soften into a loving smile at us.

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Nitroglobus Hall: ALL_MOST REAL

Highly recommended  – an  exhibition which should not be missed.

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Postcards from the Subconscious in Second Life

Nitroglobus Hall: Postcards from the Subconscious

Nitroglobus Hall: Postcards from the Subconscious

Currently open at Nitroglobus Hall, curated by Dido Haas, is Postcards from the Subconscious, a series of 15 images by Maloe Vansant and Burk Bode. Offered in the familiar large format seen at Nitroglobus, the pictures have a distinctly dark edge to them, which is not entirely what the artists intended.

“This exhibition is like a child. It was planned friendly and glamorous,” Maloe and Burk say of the works on display. “But as always our unconsciousness send us postcards. Feelings like bubbles coming up that told us we had to make just this picture and no other.”

Nitroglobus Hall: Postcards from the Subconscious

Nitroglobus Hall: Postcards from the Subconscious

The result is a series of images which, if not the stuff of nightmares, are certainly the kind thing which might creep into our dreams at three o’clock in the morning to poke at us as we sleep. At the same time, some of them provoke an entirely different response.

Take, for example, Ha Ha Said the Clown and The Dolls, both by Burk Bode. Here we have the embodiment of the hidden menace some of us see within a clown’s make-up, or the suggestion of possession contained within some gaudily painted dolls. At the same time, and while their titles might carry a hint of darkness, we have  Maloe’s Crooked and Who’s That Voice Inside My Head? Two pieces which seem to present a more contemplative frame of mood, largely free of menace, prompting a similar response in the eyes of their beholder.

Nitroglobus Hall: Postcards from the Subconscious

Nitroglobus Hall: Postcards from the Subconscious

All of this adds up to a fascinating exhibit, even if the artists feel it’s not entirely what they originally had in mind. “At the end our child is not what we planned it to be,” they note. “It became somebody dark and nasty. Looking at us like a misbehaving child and telling us: ‘I don’t like you’.”

Be that as it may, it is hard for parents not to love their children, however they turn out, as Burk and Maloe admit in their introduction to the exhibition. It’s also very hard not to be captivated and drawn into these images, Dark might be the subject matter, but the artistry is beautifully evocative and marvellously executed. Open through until June.

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