Art in Second Life 2020 (36) Michiel Bechir’s Art Gallery in June/July exhibitions

I got an invitation for an opening party for a new exhibtion at Michiel Bechir’s Art Gallery for Saturday, June 20th. As I had other activities at night in Second Life, I peeked in already on Thursday, June 18th.

The new exhibtion features the art of Pavel Stransky and Hazel Foxtrot on the ground level and the pictures of Jaz (Jessamine2108) on the 2nd floor.

Right at the entrance you see Michiel Bechir’s on work. Michiel has started his long virtual journey into Second Life as a photographer in 2009. Michiel enjoys seeing new places, meeting new people from all over the world and expierencing the creativity in Second Life (just like I do!). Michiel discovered the possiblities of different tools to improve his pictures. By editing them he also tries to add a personal touch and feeling. Experiments with the effect of colors are often done, and more recently he is trying to show the details by working with high resolution photos.

Michiel Bechir’s Gallery in June/July – Michiel Bechir’s own pictures

To the right from the entrance is the room with the pictures of Pavel Stransky, who joined Second Life almost 13 years ago. Pavel Stransky’s motivation to visit sims in Second Life are quite the same as Michiel’s and like Michiel he takes pictures inworld and as far as I could see, Pavel also processes his pictures. But his style is quite comparable with Michiel’s – at least from what I saw. Pavel Stransky has also a flickr account.

Michiel Bechir’s Gallery in June/July – Pavel Stransky

To the left from the entrance is the room with the pictures of Hazel Foxtrot, who is active in Second Live since 2008 and she shares the passion of taking pictures. Her motives are a bit different to those of Michiel and Pavel. 3 of her pictures reminded me of Melusina Parkin’s Roadside pictures (read here), an exhibition that I visited in May. Other picture capture the atmosphere of towns. Hazel has also a flickr account.

Michiel Bechir’s Gallery in June/July – Hazel Foxtrot

All three Michiel, Pavel and Hazel make pictures while traveling through Second Life. They find great motives and the right viewing angle to creat their art.

The exhibtion on the 2nd floor of Michiel Bechir’s Art Gallery, named Balance, is different. It combines pictures from Jaz (Jessamine2108) with poems from Zoe Ocelot. Balance is an exhibtion about the current pandemic and its effect on humans and animals as well as on nature due to the lack of pollution and cleaner air and water.
Before you enter the room you’re asked to wear a face mask, which is provided, The exhibtion has two parts, that are divided by a fence. One side shows pictures and texts from the physcial world. Very impressive is a picture from India showing the vers same place before and during the lockdown and how the air got clean. A 3D model of the earth is in the center of the room and circled by dark polluted clouds as well as be clean clouds.
On the other side of the fence you see pictures from Jaz, taken in Second Life but clearly referring to the corona pandemic.

Michiel Bechir’s Gallery in June/July – Balance by Jaz and Zoetrope Ocelot

Jaz has been doing photography in SL since 2018: “It would be more than appropriate to say that Milla (Ladmilla) introduced me to the nuances in the art. While I still have much to learn, I am enjoying every minute of it. Special thanks to Eta (Etamae Resident) for making me look at the amazing possibilities of SL and to Harry Cover (impossibleisnotfrench Resident) for giving me an opportunity and courage to branch out on my own and to be able to collaborate and experiment with mesh with him.
Jaz exhibits some of her work at her homeplace Third Eye and has an own little gallery Bohemian Imaginarium@ – two places to add to my list.

Thank you Michiel for enabling this joined exhibition, thanks to the artists for their work. I enjoyed my visit!

Landmark to Michiel Bechir’s Art Gallery
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Embrace/26/226/2502
Pavel Stransky’s flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pavelstransky
Hazel Foxtrot’s flickr
https://www.flickr.com/photos/166901264@N04/
Jaz (Jessamine2108)’s homeplace “Third Eye”
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Midnight%20Sanctum/145/226/1101
Jaz (Jessamine2108)’s gallery Bohemian Imaginarium@
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Blue%20Moon/78/120/25

Art in Second Life 2020 (33) Roadside by Melusina Parkin

For my simploring tour on Sunday, May 24th, I picked “Roadside” an exhibition of Melusina Parkin from scoop.it SL Destinations. The entry referred to a blog post from Inara Pey “Melu’s Roadside images in Second Life“. I came across Melusina just once so far. I saw an exhibtion of her at “The Last Forever – Marfa” (read here) back in 2017. Inara Pey’s blogpost made me curious to see her newer work under the title “Roadside

Roadside by Melusina Parkin at Melusina Photo Gallery

The exhibition is on a one room gallery above Melusina Parkin’s store for Art Deco furniture called Melu Deco. All the 4 walls are used to display the roughly 25 pictures. Melusina is in Second Life since September 2008. She has been a fashion manager, a journalist, a furniture creator, a builder, a decorator and a photographer. Her work as a photographer has been showcased in more than 50 exhibitions – from which I saw just the one back in 2017. Melusina has a flickr account which counts more than 12,000 (!) photographs. I know myself how SL pictures add up over time – my hard drive contains 45,000 pictures, but of course there’s a lot garbage amoung them.

Roadside by Melusina Parkin – Impressions (1)

Melusina wrote about her exhibtion “Roadside“:
Diners, motels, pump stations, garages are elements of a “road popular culture” developed in wide spaces crossed by monotone and endless roads. We can’t imagine a motorway without them. (Remark: that is clearly related to the US *winks*)
Like mountains, hills, fields, lawns and rivers, they are part of any landscape we see when traveling through the country. They can be simple wooden buidings or kitsch painted ones, and their neon signs light up the sides of the road we’re traveling, promising food and drink, bed and rest, warm fireplaces or refreshing airconditioned rooms. Smell of fuel and of fried eggs mix up in their surroundings, announcing a close stop.
They take care of our bodies and of our minds, but even of our mechanical horses.
But they’re even more: they tell us that we’re at home, that we’re not alone in the intimidating natural landscape, in the desert, in the snowy land.
From Jack Kerouac to Easy Rider, road novels and movies made their sets of them, so they settled in our minds as obvious elements of our way of life.
The mirrored world of Second Life couldn’t renounce to sprinkle them all around, and this exhibit has the aim to show how fascinating can be this roadside world.
Enjoy it!

Roadside by Melusina Parkin – Impressions (2)

The above text is from a notecard that you can grab at the exhibtion. In the notecard Melusina also writes about her style as a photographer: “Many of my photos tend towards minimalism, that’s my main inclination: catching a simple detail from daily life or usual landscapes, enhancing it, making it protagonist of mostly empty scenes. This reveals its meaning or can push the observer to give it her/his own. Minimalism stresses void, space, geometries: you can be confused by that, but you can also been led to meditate about what things are when they are out of the crowd. Finally, I take and edit some of my photos in a vintage mood. Second Life makes old times live again and it pushes me to enhance my passion for reflections about past and present, absences and losses, nostalgia, love or hate for the past. But the main feature of my works is the lack of human beings: usually, you can’t see people in my pictures, although they are. Since a virtual world is made by its users, not only objects and buildings, but even nature, landscapes, skyes and clouds are made by them; they express people’s bias and souls.

Roadside by Melusina Parkin

I couldn’t describe Melusina Parkin’s pictures any better than she did herself. Looking at them is intriguing and like Inara wrote in her post, you begin to make up your own story when you dive into the pictures. You can also see Melusina’s focus on small details. Finally, her pictures did remind me of my many visits to the US and the wides spaces as well as what I saw at the roadside.

I enjoyed my visit. The exhibtion “Roadside” shall stay open at least until End of June 2020.
I finally had a look at Melusina’s store “Melu Deco”. It offers Art Deco furniture, lamps, rugs and home accessories. Many of the items are copies of famous 1920-40s designers’ objects.

Roadside by Melusina Parkin – Impressions (3) / a view into “Melu’s Deco”-stire

There’s a lot more about Melusina Parker and her photographs not only on her flickr page. Melusina has an own blog for her work, there’s an online book with pictures of some of her exhibitions in Second life from 2011 – 2019 and you canwatch some slideshows on Melusina’s youtube channel. Quite impressive! Thank you Melusina.

Landmark to Melusina Photo Gallery
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Time%20Portal/248/101/1940
Landmark to Melusina Parkin’s store for Art Deco furniture “Melu Deco”
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Time%20Portal/243/99/1930
Melusina Parker’s Flickr:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/melusina_parkin/
Melusina’s blog:
http://meluphoto.blogspot.it/p/home.html
On line book Second Life exhibits 2011-2019
https://www.calameo.com/books/005997622f28dd58ca75d
Melusina Parkin’s youtube channel
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVzglBiqhrOLXnAp3Qt3Zjw
Inara Pey’s blogpost “Melu’s Roadside images in Second Life”
https://modemworld.me/2020/05/20/melus-roadside-images-in-second-life/

Simploring 2017 (31) The Last Forever – Marfa

I went on a simploring tour Saturday, April 22nd. I decided to visit “The Last Forever“, a landmark that I picked from Nix Bubbles’ blog. The landmark description was not really revealing for me: “The Last Forever is a new sim/full region inspired by Marfa, TX from the creators of West of The Rain, Oobleck Allagash and Nodnol Jameson (KraftWork), along with the creative team of Kai Mannequin, Brooke Barmy, Rooky Yootz, Triin, Misty and Jack Hanby.” I haven’t heard about Marfa in Texas before nor did I came across of any of the mentionened names. Most of “The Last Forever” I understood later, when I looked up some profiles and after reading about Marfa, TX.

April 22nd: The Last Forever – overview

Marfa was founded in the early 1880s as a railroad water stop. The town was named “Marfa” at the suggestion of the wife of a railroad executive. The Marfa Army Airfield served as a training facility for several thousand pilots during World War II. It was closed 1945. Marfa has a population of about 2,000 people, hence it is really small.
Today, Marfa is a tourist destination and a major center for Minimalist art. Attractions include Building 98, the Chinati Foundation, artisan shops, historical architecture, a classic Texas town square, modern art installments, art galleries, and the Marfa lights. The city is also 37 miles (60 km) from Prada Marfa, a pop art exhibit, which might be the most photographed and visited site in Marfa. The area around Marfa is known as a cultural center for contemporary artists and artisans. In 1971, minimalist artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa from New York City. Since Judd’s death in 1994, two foundations have worked to maintain his legacy: the Chinati Foundation and Judd Foundation. Every year the Chinati Foundation holds an open house event where artists, collectors, and enthusiasts come from around the world to visit Marfa’s art.
(Source: wikipedia
The landing point is at the Marker of Marfa, which is based on Marfa in the reality. Upon your landing you get a welcome “Welcome to The Last Forever SIM home of KraftWork, BIGBULLY, Powder Pack, Kiss me Poses and Triin.” KraftWork and BIGBULLY are shops for mesh creations for decorations and furniture in Second Life. Powder Pack is a store for make-up and skins for mesh heads and Kiss me Poses is a store for poses. The Last Forever is the home of these stores. I didn’t find out what Triin is.
Marfa in Second Life looks a bit like I would imagine a little town in Texas. First of all it is in the middle of nowhere and surrounded by a desert. There are some modern buildings but also some buildings that have seen better times. And there are some ruins and abandoned homes. The infrastructure is dilapidated and some corners and areas look shabby. What I noticed before I did the above research about Marfa in the real world is the art spreaded all over the sim.
I walked around town and collected some impressions of Marfa in SL. I explored the mainstores of KraftWork and BIGBULLY. I went into the radio station and I couldn’t refrain from peeking into the local sex shop. I visited the exhibit Americana, American Icons in Second Life by Melusina Parkin. Outside of the town is the famous Prada Marfa, a camping ground, and some houses. The atmosphere is dense and The Last Forever looks quite real, in particular when you know about Marfa in reality. Monday, April 24th, just 2 days after my visit, I noticed that Inara Pey published an entry about Melusina Parkin’s Americana exhibit titeled “Melusina’s American Icons in Second life in her blog, just the very same day that I visited Marfa. What a coincdence!
Thank you Oobleck (allagash) and Nodnol Jameson (owner of KraftWork) for providing The Last Forever to the public. You understood how to combine the site of some mainstores (including your own) with the experience of a great place in Second Life and you contributed to my education as I now know about Marfa.
Landmark to The Last Forever
http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/The%20Last%20Forever/181/97/23
Inara Pey’s blog entry about Melusina Parkin’s Americana exhibit at The Last Forever
https://modemworld.me/2017/04/21/melusinas-american-icons-in-second-life/