03 August 2015

Lovegasm

Opening today, Monday, August 3 at 12 pm slt at the Dathúil Gallery, is Lovegasm, a duo show by Mr. & Mrs. S. (or Saka Infinity and "Laura, a surprise package in the kink department"), with respective flickr streams here and here. Embracing the minimal ambiance of the dathúil gallery, they opted to display their images on the ceiling, where several rows of photos can be viewed from two sides, and every two and a half minutes the display flips from textures by one of them to the other. (Local chat in the gallery informs viewers which artist's work is being shown — in the images below, Mrs.'s is at top, and Mr.'s is a the bottom, appearing on the same objects.)

Their beautifully executed images capture moments in time, both artists preferring to work without poses ("You get much more soul and feeling in a picture that way," says Mrs. S.), and portray themes of sexuality, eroticism, voyeurism, dominance and submission, simple portraiture, and above all intimacy. "And of course," said Mrs. S. as the three of us talked, "I picked Mr. S's pictures and the other way around." On the second level, they've rezzed a little "kinky shed" that's currently decorated as a bakery (the design will change weekly) with some "extra" things — some more visible than others — and invite photographers to make use of it. "With the furniture and the kinky shed we try to show the visitor our world," she added. "So not just with our pictures." Lovegasm will remain on display through August 30.

01 August 2015

Farewell to The Trace Too

The Trace, designed by Kylie Jaxxon, long stood as one of Second Life's most lovely regions — changing with the seasons, it was immensely popular with explorers and photographers. But in 2014, faced with a sudden diagnosis of leukemia, Kylie closed the sim, feeling the need to focus on her health. As her condition improved, in March she reopened the sim as The Trace Too, a summery beach with sweeping vistas about which I wrote here. In the past few weeks, however, Kylie deleted her Second Life profile and her website, reopening concerns among friends that her health challenges have renewed.

A group, led by Hippie Bowman, Lennie Foxtrot, Trinity Yazimoto, Seductive Dreamscape and others, quickly stepped in to help support The Trace Too. Based on their best knowledge of Kylie's wishes, the group has decided that the sim not be kept open longer than the current month — rather, accrued funds will be donated to the American Cancer Society via Relay for Life.

Trinity Yazimoto has organized a special art auction that runs from August 2 to 10, featuring photographs recently taken at The Trace Too. As pictured here, the unique images are positioned near their subjects. Funds from the auction will also be contributed to ACS, and presently — the list will probably grow, although the cutoff for submissions is approaching — the artists who have presented works include Eddie Haskell, Leonorah Beverly, Gidgette Adaggio, Seraphiel Galaxy, ScarlettElizabet, SereneDean, Kaelyn Alecto, Lumiette, Pearl Grey, Lo Coeur, Pinkrayne, Bamboo Barnes, Maxie Daviau, Skinninylla, Sabastian Melmoth, Hillara, Coober Galicia, Terravive, Becca, Chrysterox, Masquerade Snowbear, Lizz Avon, Rosy Highwater, and Tripp Nitely. For more on the auction, visit Trin's image here on flickr. Thank you all those who have come together to support The Trace Too in this final month, and especially to Kylie for having shared her beautiful creation with the community.

30 July 2015

Love, Henry

Now open at LEA8 is Love, Henry, by Tahiti Rae, an installation that may appeal to students and enthusiasts of history, in particular those who delight in the ever-fascinating story of Henry VIII and his six wives. Henry's earliest years with his first wife, Catherine of Aragon (the widow of Henry's older brother, Arthur, their marriage lasting only a few months) seemed relatively happy, but Henry sought a male heir, and the couple seemed unable to produce one: of Catherine's six announced pregnancies, two were stillborn, two boys (both named Henry) and one unnamed daughter died in infancy, and one girl survived — Mary, later to become queen of England.

And so it was that Henry set his eyes on the young (and apparently strong willed) Anne Boleyn, whose older sister, Mary, had already been carnally known to him. Through a lengthy process, Henry annulled his marriage to Catherine and first secretly and then publicly married Anne, already visibly pregnant. A daughter, Elizabeth (later Elizabeth I of England) was born in a few months after the wedding in 1533, but once again no male heirs appeared, and by 1536 Henry's eyes roamed afresh, this time to Jane Seymour. Probably mostly through the nefarious workings of Henry's chief minister, Thomas Cromwell, Anne and her allies were thrown on the defensive, and charges of adultery and incest were brought against the queen. Declared guilty, Anne was locked in the Tower of London and subsequently executed the morning of 17 May 1536.

While visitors can enjoy the installation for its visual appeal — including a large library and a castle and gardens on the ground level — the bulk of the experience is to be had through an interactive journey that offers information and elicits responses to questions. Without revealing too much of the installation's content (at the request of Tahiti), it's fair to say that it hones in on a communication purportedly written by Anne to Henry during her imprisonment, and questions whether Henry ever received it — and so invites viewers to wonder what would have happened if the charges against Anne had been vanquished, and she had not been executed. On Sunday, 23 August, a "grand event" will take place at Love, Henry. To read more from Tahiti visit here on the LEA blog.

20 July 2015

Artist Evolution

Opening today, Monday, July 20 from 8 to 10 pm slt at the Renaissance Gallery, is a retrospective exhibition of artworks by Molly Bloom entitled Artist Evolution. [Update: The opening has been postponed until Monday, July 27 from 8 to 10 pm slt.] Baring her soul — or at least her artistic past — Molly provides a glimpse into the history of her creative process, beginning with the "first hideous flat photo" and moving forward through her first exhibition, her learning to build sets and create poses, to mastering lighting, and finally to her integration of three-dimensional elements and true refinement of her craft. Throughout the documented span and artistic evolution, one quickly sees Molly's joy in her work and the playfulness that manifests itself in her images.

19 July 2015

The Egg

Now open at LEA19, as part of the current round of Artist in Residence grants, is The Egg by Livio Korobase. The artist's usual playfulness pervades this installation, which spreads across the region at ground level, where land gently rolls in and out of the sea with delightful textures. Livio does little in writing to inform us of his thoughts, and instead provides visitors with an essay called The Egg from the website of the Theosophy Trust, describing ways in which the egg has been spiritually embraced by cultures across the globe. (One hopes that permission was obtained to use this copywritten material.)

The scene is dominated, not surprisingly, by a huge egg that rises about one hundred meters above the ground, supported by extensive scaffolding, on which the figure of a frog is happily perched, looking down in a meditative pose. And indeed, animals are quite central to the build, which includes everything from a hippopotamus to an elephant to a reindeer (or some similar horned creature) adorned with a Zulu proverb. Elsewhere on the ground are a mammoth seashell, a motorcyclist, a grouping of colorful prims that generate music as one interacts with them, two male figures ogling the Venus de Milo, and other odds and ends, many of which include interactive poses.

Don't miss the opportunity to go into the egg itself, where a giant praying mantis perches over an seashell, an egg hovering over its head, by clicking on the arrow nearby on the ground. Explorers who prefer something other than walking or flying will find two other modes of travel — visitors can obtain an airplane (like the sort of balsa wood model plane a child might create) or a bicycle by clicking on them on the ground level. How all the sim's elements (or most of them) fit together to relate to "the egg" didn't connect for me, nor did it for a number of other friends and artists with whom I talked as we explored, but it's an engaging experience that's worth a visit.

16 July 2015

Art Is Protest

Opening today, Thursday, July 16 at 1:30 pm slt at Trésor de l'Art, curated by Duna Gant and owned by Rubin Mayo, is Art Is Protest, an exhibition featuring works by two artists, Nino Vichan and Basu Kshitiz. Nino's installation, entitled Staten Island, July 17th 2014, reflects back on the killing of Eric Garner, an African American man who died a year ago tomorrow at the hands of New York City police, and whose death sparked a wave a protests in many U.S. cities. The installation comprises three scenes: I Can't Breathe, Black Lives Matter, and Violence Begets Violence, the last of which refers to the revenge killing of two New York City policemen by Ismaaiyl Abdullah Brinsley in late 2014.

Nino's work is effectively laid out in narrative style (just keep weaving your way around — you'll exit near where you entered), with local sounds that need to be heard. It's not a particularly pleasant thing to visit, but that's precisely the point, as it invites us to grapple with Garner's murder and the subsequent violence that unfolded. The work of Basu Kshitiz, by contrast, is humorous and lighthearted, although its real intent is every bit as serious, pointing out through satire the challenges faced by society in his native country of Nepal. Art Is Protest will remain on view until September.

15 July 2015

Tristan und Isolde

Opening today, Wednesday, July 15 at 1:30 pm slt, is Tristan und Isolde (Tristan and Isolde) by Giovanna Cerise, with an introduction by Francesco Bonetto, at ItalianVerse. Inspired by Richard Wagner's opera of the same name, written between 1857 and 1859 and premiered in 1865, the installation is an imposing set or stage of sorts — one can well imagine a production of the work being staged in the very space.

The space, in deep blue, black and white, is ethereal and beautifully fits the mood of the opera. Visitors will want to turn off the local stream, which has nothing to do with Wagner, and instead rely on the boxes with musical notes set out in the space, which play various leitmotifs (or musical material associated with characters or symbols in the opera). Giovanna also provides links to several external music excerpts.

14 July 2015

Bella Pace

Now open — and for about two weeks only — is Bella Pace (or Beautiful Peace), a new sim by Romy Mornington and her partner Jac Mornington, a splendid location that will eventually serve as their private home. It's a land of gently undulating hills topped by a villa that overlooks the surrounding farmlands, beaches and the sea. The open landscape provides a serene sense of depth and distance, allowing one to easily glance all the way across the sim.

"We got inspired by my childhood memories of vacations in Tuscany, and it's a typical Tuscan countryside," Romy told me. "Our goal was to make a place with a soul and a flow." Even the sim's music is influenced by Italy — "The stream is made of music of [the film] Il Postino mostly, and some tracks from The Godfather while they were shooting in Italy," she added.

The interior of the villa, shown in the second image, is beautifully decorated, and the buildings are all open to the public for now. The ancient Roman ruins over which the villa was constructed can be seen tumbling and falling into the beach and sea on the western edge. The sim's default windlight setting is shown in the first and last images here (Annan Adored -Morning Dream), but photographers will no doubt take delight in exploring others. Thanks to Romy and Jac for sharing their home with the Second Life community.

13 July 2015

Art on Roofs

Now open at a new gallery space at Solodonna land, owned by Sniper Siemens and Elettra Beardmore, and curated by terrygold, is Art on Roofs, a exhibition of two- and three-dimensional works by Mistero Hifeng. And the name is fitting in more ways than one: from the landing point one looks out onto an landscape of tile roofs, and it's there one finds the artworks, reachable through a couple of paths or by simply walking right out onto the roofs.

Mistero's distinctive forms — some surreal and many emotionally confronting or uncomfortable (here, for example, bodies shattered or pierced by arrows) — are woven with care into the environment. I would recommend that visitors ensure that their level of detail is turned up, as otherwise some of the more delicate elements of Mistero's works may not show properly. If you'd like to help ensure future shows, a tip jar is located near the landing point. The exhibition continues through July 23.

12 July 2015

Not Dark Yet

Opening today, Sunday, July 12 at 12 pm slt, is Not Dark Yet, a lovely group show at The Broad Street Gallery at Crestwick Island, curated by Isa Messioptra. Each of the artists — Senna Coronet, Harbor Galaxy, Maloe Vansant, .kiki, Isa Messioptra, Hillany Scofield, Doc, Cipherscape, Dantelicia Ethaniel, Amona Savira, and edie Horngold — was invited to create an image inspired by a Bob Dylan song, the titles and lyrics of which are provided below each of the artworks. The images are all for sale, and, if you'd like to further support this and future exhibitions at Crestwick, there's a tip jar at the gallery entrance.