Ekphrasis Extra: D.Construct and FlowerDrum at Split Screen

FlowerDrum by Eliza Wierwight at Split Screen. Photo by PJ Trenton.

I am often thinking (and debating people) about the best way to display art in SL – how to walk the balance between using virtual space to its full effect without forgetting the essential elements to good curation in terms of displaying and viewing work (do NOT get me started on the distracting practice hanging work in mid air, or on a transparent wall). The current exhibits at Split Screen are both excellent examples of how to do this well: purpose built spaces which work perfectly for the objects they display.

According to curator and owner Dividni Shostakovich”The Split Screen Installation Space is place where artists and builders develop and exhibit large installations.  Two artists use the space for two months, and then other artists take over.  The space is meant for large builds that utilize the possibilities of Second Life as an artistic or immersive medium, such as works that are impossible in real life.” I’ve been meaning to write about this space for some time, as the shows are regularly quite impressive, and I’ve seen some incredible builds here by the likes of Maya Paris, Oberon Onmura, and Misprint Thursday. The current exhibits do not disappoint either.

Shattering a Monet at D.Construct by Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield, at Split Screen. Photo by PJ Trenton.

D.Construct

D.Construct is another fun and clever creation from Douglas Story and Desdemona Enfield, creators of Ripple and Dynafleur among other things. I admit that I was VERY wary of this one when I saw a notice from Doug that said something like ‘come see Desde’s script destroy famous art’. Normally that might make an art historian like me cry, but I know Doug’s quirky sense of humour, and as well his respect for art (he is based in LA and always IMs me about the latest thing he saw at the Getty).

And it IS fun, the kind of exhibit you can play with for a while. Select a painting, then watch it ‘deconstruct’ into coin-like pieces which tumble and pile at your feet. I enjoyed the music as well, and although it seems a simple process, I know it takes the master scripting of someone like Desde to make it seem so straightforward. And you know, I’ve never been a massive fan of Monet, so watching his San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk (1908) crumble to wee bits was pretty neat. I only ask one thing – please, Doug, go back and add titles and dates (rather than just ‘Monet Thumbnail’), so people can learn more about the images. I mean, if you are going to ‘destroy’ the work, at least give us the names!

FlowerDrum by Eliza Wierwight at Split Screen. Photo by PJ Trenton.

FlowerDrum
Eliza Wierwight’s builds are difficult to classify – immersive spaces that sit somewhere between art installation and artistic interior designs. FlowerDrum is no exception: a sensuous, exotic temple for the 21st century. It feels equal parts sacred space, memorial, art gallery and cocktail lounge. Definitely a space you want to spend time chilling out in. Luckily she has included several spots for meditation, napping, or cozying with a friend. The exotic build is inspired by the artists own journeys:

It follows vignettes of the Orient in my life, travelling as far back as being a small child, the toddler with blonde hair that villagers crowded to touch due to its novelty or rarity, in some provinces never seen before.

FlowerDrum by Eliza Wierwight at Split Screen. Photo by PJ Trenton.

Eliza – who often constructs sets for her own stunning photographs – seems to have designed the space with photographers in mind, as she obviously thinks very carefully how her objects are framed, and how one moves through the build to have constantly shifting views and compositions. Also, make sure your audio is on, for the music and sounds are equally exquisite, and suit the installation perfectly.

D.Construct and FlowerDrum are open now and on display for the next two months. See more of PJ Trenton’s photos of these works at his flickr set.

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As a bonus, I just popped by an opening of a small exhibit of works by Glyph Graves at Fruit Islands Art. Included are objects he simply had buried in his inventory and which are rarely seen; and as well a “Doorway” to the beautiful installation he made in memory of Sabrinaa Nightfire. Glyph wasn’t sure how long this would be open, so do take a moment to pop over soon.



2 comments

  1. Rowan and PJ , you rock. Thank you both for the attention to our collective works. back to offer more when my brain defogs.

    Again, my genuine thanks.

    Eliza

  2. I would add a big ‘thank you’ to our talented and genial composer Emily Wilkins (March MacBain in SL) who is responsible for the sonic environment at D.Construct. We feel lucky to have fallen in with Emily, who is a RL friend of British artist Maya Paris.
    We always pay a lot of attention to sound design for our builds, and Emily has worked with us on Ripple, Moons of Galileo, and now D.Construct.

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