Art in Second Life (85) “Surface of Mars” by Rachel Breaker

I got a group message about the opening of an exhibition by Rachel Breaker in pavillion 4 at GBTH project. It is named “Surface of Mars“.

What a strange title for an exhibition. And I had never heard of Rachel Breaker before, nor was I prepared what I was going to see. But there’s quite some information right before you enter the exhibition itself.

In the entrance right next to the poster of the exhibiton you find a longer text from Rachel Braker in which she explains the background of her exhibtion. And lazy as I am I will use this text in my blogpost.

I started this project with the intention of making a space similar to the Penn station AmTrak area or like an aiport space of stores. i was looking at abandoned malls, stores, and like fever dream type pictures, such as the back rooms. I was looking at pictures of stores half closed, where the lights are on in the back but off in the front, such at spaces that are closed or closing. This store unintentionally turned into a school, and I realized I was making a place your not supposed to be, not an abandoned space. I unintentionally recreated these motifs I remember from school that were omnipresent. I remember endless cinder block, linoleum tile and drop ceilings. Its identical to big box architecture.”

Impressions of “Surface of Mars” by Rachel Breaker (1)

Once you use the teleporter to the exhibition you land at a staircase. To your right is a door that leads to a couple of rooms. Some rooms are completely full with kind of a 1:1 modell of a brown surface, the “Surface of Mars“. There are some stones lying on the surface. Along the walls are some folding tables with objects. Like in a shop on one table are several generals made of porcelain, on another are a few buffalos, and the next table showases metal trash bins. You can purchase them by the way. The whole feel and look reminds a lot of a school. Somehow schools look all alike in the whole world: Linoleum tile floors, drop ceilings, a green stone wall … and I could litereally small my own old school.

There are things you never notice that are littered everywhere just from people using them strewed around a school in the hallways, like the folding tables, the plastic chairs, the palstic bins, the grimey formica furniture, office carpeting. Its an area that’s formed a lot like a forest, nobody designs it, things are placed as needed and abandoned, it happns organically. The sounds and the lighting are extremely specific to the space I remember. These aren’t spaces to fear necessarily, but they are vast, stormy, and sublime.

Impressions of “Surface of Mars” by Rachel Breaker (2)

I left the ground floor rooms and went up to the 2nd floor. The same picture. Rooms filled with “Surface of Mars“, folding tables at the walls offering figures made of porcelain, lions, santas, chickens, pigs. I also noticed these cheap plastic chairs, also a design used all over the world. Same goes for the plastic bins. One wall is used for announcements, white boards filled in this case just with posters from the exhibtions.

In early dos videogames where I have vague memories of wandering around these enless dark hallways in the abyss in Ultima Underworld. As a child I didn’t know how to play but I remember doing this for hours, pucking up trash and just falling asleep.

There is something about this and current events surrounding mars that I can’t explain exactly. The arbitrariness of the design of schools, the things I remember so vividly are empty, and I see the same design in the precedural martian surface. In school I remember being excited about new technology and now I just see it as a nefarious game of a few billionaires. I don’t understand how people can be excited about billionaires going into space, it’s depressing to me. I drew on publicly funded spaces, and icons of government funding that are disappearing. I found old banks that use all this imagery, and seeing them all together, repeated over and over on folding tables, seemed unexplainable but true.

Impressions of “Surface of Mars” by Rachel Breaker (3)

The exhibition “Surface of Mars” combines 3 elements. First it is a very well built school building, that really offers you the look and feel of a school, it looks “real” and real shabby as many schools are nowadays. Secondly there are the “Surfaces of Mars“, something you can easily picture being showcased in a museum to make you feel like being on our neighbourhood planet. And thirdly there are the porcelain objects, small artful pieces that you can take with you to decorate your home if you like to showcase some pretentious kitsch there.

Rachel Breaker is in Second Life since 2006. She’s a painter and 3D artist based in the USA. Rachel studied photography, did a masters program in the UK for animation and nowadays works developing props and environments for video games. Her work in Second Life started being developed in 2008 and inside the grid she participated of a round of The Arcade in 2017 and keeps a store on the Katat0nik sim and a store on the marketplace. And no surprise, you can find her also on flickr.

Her inspiration comes from planned environments like miniature golf courses, paths, also vintage toys, New Orleans Mardi Gras, amongst others.

Thank you Rachel for this exhibition. Thank you to all others who enabled the exhibtion and provided the space for the art.
GBTH means Grab By The Horns, the GBTH Project is an urban sim dedicated to contemporary art. You find more information at www.thegbthproject.com

Landmark to “Surface of Mars” by Rachel Breaker
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/the%20GBTH%20project/53/87/47
Rachel Breaker’s store on the Kata0mik sim
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Katat0nik/147/187/28
Rachel Breaker’s store on the marketplace
https://marketplace.secondlife.com/stores/8052
Rachel Breaker’s flickr
http://www.flickr.com/photos/7885610@N05/
GBTH Project website
http://www.thegbthproject.com

Art in Second Life (34) Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park

A few days ago I got an invitation to attend the opening party of “Non-Perishable by Marina Münter” at Art in the Park. The opening was on June, 7th. I visited a few days later.

Non-Perishable was Marina Münter (vivresavie)’s first exhibtion back in September 2017 and it is now presented again at Art in the Park. Art in the park is a public area next to Valium Creek, a sim with rental homes and a public area that I visited in January 2020 (read here).

Non Perishable consists of 6 containers. Opposed to these 6 containers is an event area fitting to the exhibtion with 3 more containers.

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – exhibition poster and overview

Each container holds distinct groups of objects, objects Marina can relate to. And each container is given a title, a description that can be found at the entrance. Each container is in a different main colour: White, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red and Blue.
Marina has a connection to containers as she was born in a port city and grew up with seeing this boxes, innumerously piled up at the port. Marina writes in the accompanying notecard that she always asked herself, if she could live inside of a container.

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – White container

Next to each container you find a picture of the inside of it and always a woman is in the container admist of all the stuff inside. “The same woman is portrayed under different personas; from trauma (birth) until the unavoidable (death). The visitor is invited to enter, inspect and interact with what, for some, can be seen as a “neat way to organize your inventory”, and for others, an obsessed way of coordinating non-perishable objects in monochromatic containers.” (taken from the accompanying notecard)

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – Green container

Each of the containers also contains at least one opportunity to sit and I tried that in all six containers (and took a picture). But getting out can be tricky as you’re stuck behind other stuff when you stand up (I used the seat in the white container to “escape”).

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – Yellow container

Marina Münter (vivresavie) is almost 8 years in Second life. She’s an artist, curator and photographer. As mentioned above “Non-perishable” was her first exhibtion in Second Life and soon after she founded the GBTH project, which I came across this year the first time (read here). GBTH means Grab By The Horns, the GBTH Project is an urban sim dedicated to contemporary art. It is Marina’s main interest on the grid nowadays. You find more information at www.thegbthproject.com.

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – Orange container

The containers at Art in the Park are stuffed with objects, silly objects, useless objects, bizarre objects like the penis candelabra in the green container or the collection of dildos of all sizes in the blue container. There are seats, a record player, beach toys, all kind of illuminated signs, pictures, candles, flowers, cooling boxes, a piano, a chess game, a paddling pool, a television, cooking pots, a bicycle, a fridge, a coffee can …… I could extend this list endlessly. Nonetheless the objects are sorted by the theme, not just by the colour itself (which fits mostly) but also by the overall theme of the container.

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – Red container

I bet if I look at all of my RL stuff, it must look like a whole mess for all others, but not for me! Every item tells its story – but only to me. And I couldn’t tell anyone every story as they’re not of any interest for outsiders. Nonetheless looking at other people’s stuff does tell a lot about them, at least we tend to interpret what we see and the objects might tell a story, but not the true story, just another story, a story that fits to our life and prejudices.

I had fun looking at each container and at all the stuff – and the stuff told me a story *winks*.

Non-Perishable by Marina Münter at Art in the Park – Blue container

Thank you Marina for the exhibition. Thank you Vally Prodigy (Valium Lavender) for providing Art in the park. I enjoyed my visit a lot!

Landmark to Art In The Park
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Broken%20Vessels/141/53/21
The GBTH Project website
http://www.thegbthproject.com
flick-group Art in the Park
https://www.flickr.com/groups/valium/pool

Art in Second Life 2020 (18B) Chuanghu (Windows) – FionaFei Exhibit – GBTH Project

I saw quite some installations of FionaFei this year: at her Shui Mo Gallery (read here), at La Maison d’Aneli just a few days ago (read here) and Impostor at Sim Quarterly (read here). Fiona brought my attention to Chuanghu (Windows), her exhibit at GBTH Project. I went there on Friday, April 10th.

GBTH means Grab By The Horns, the GBTH Project is an urban sim dedicated to contemporary art. You find more information at www.thegbthproject.com

Fiona is Chinese by decent but spent the majority of her life in the West:
I have a fascination with Chinese history and culture, but I often feel like I’m viewing my ancestry through a filter of Americanized information and experiences. Furthermore, my artistic background has been in charcoal and oil painting mediums, and I’ve had very little experience in actual ink-brush painting. Much of my early years were spent painting landscapes and portraits using oil paint on canvas. However, I developed a love for non-photorealism over the years as an artist. In continuation with my love of non-photorealism, I now produce Chinese ink-brush art in Second Life and exhibit my work around the grid.
For more information look up FionaFei’s own website

Chuanghu (Windows) by FionaFei – Exhibit at GBTH Project (1)

Fiona has also written a short text about her installation Chuanghu (Windows):
Chuānghu is an architectural installation in the style of ink wash.  It is a modern take of today’s urban environment, especially crowded areas filled with buildings and structures that are close together.  In the meantime, it also provides a type of openness, where all the “walls” are see-through, acting as windows.
The space is meant to be explored, with poses set up in various elements of the installation.  Visitors can sit on the windows and “swap” to pose in other areas within the space.  It is my hope that visitors will take pictures, where each picture is a piece of art.”

Chuanghu (Windows) by FionaFei – Exhibit at GBTH Project (2)

You reach the installation with a seperate teleport from where you land at GBTH Project. Having seen some of Fiona’s art already I felt immediately familar “in” her installation. One of the features of her art is that you can walk through it and thus experience it in a different way. Chuanghu (Windows) is completely held in Black and White and thus the visitor is the colourful element in her installation. You see not just windows, but doors, even houses, rooms, roofs and sometimes they melt together to a thick black, at other times or viewing angels all elements look transparent and gray and light. Of course I also tried to “sit” and tested a few poses. That was fun! And also provided another view on Chuanghu (Windows).

Thank you Fiona for another piece of your art. And many thanks to the GBTH project for enabling this exhibtion.

Landmark to Chuanghu (Windows) – FionaFei Exhibit – GBTH Project
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/the%20GBTH%20project/219/100/47
FionaFei’s own website
https://fionafei.portfoliobox.net/
GBTH Project website
http://www.thegbthproject.com