Friday, September 20, 2013

Secret Rage's Commonalities at LEA6, review written by Victoria Lenoirre

Salutations UWA fans! Reporting from LEA6, it's Victoria Lenoirre...where I discuss the latest artist to grace the esteemed LEA6 full sim this month!

This month, Secret Rage's installation is called Commonalities. At the teleport point you can touch a glowy box above the Info word and you should receive a folder with both the notecard describing the art and the landmark.

Commonalities by Secret Rage main landing

Underneath the red Waters of Life is where the staircase or ramp begins. The main landing is where life starts. The Waters of life symbolize the womb that we emerge from into life. So let's climb up, shall we?

You'll climb up 2 flights of ramps until you reach a plateau, Happy Eyes. On this plateau and on your right, you'll see a blue sign that says, "As humans we have the luxury of Art...not all of it has a deeper meaning-nor must it MAKE SENSE. Sometimes it exists ONLY because something about it makes our eyes HAPPY...and THAT is ENOUGH."  There are also 2 giant dragonflies. Click the info sign for information about Happy Eyes. This is an interactive installation.

Happy Eyes, me astride a dragonfly

A few steps ahead is Well Seasoned. As before, click the Info sign for a notecard about the installation.

Up another ramp is True Friendships.  This is a statue of 3 friends holding hands in a circle, while butterflies fly around them. Like Happy Eyes, this is interactive. Make sure to turn off your AO otherwise you won't get the desired effect.

Beyond True Friendships is School Daze. The setting is a classroom. Just sit in any seat. It's a cute class setting. Try sitting in any seat.

From School Daze I went down a ramp to arrive at "we all want to belong to something bigger than ourselves." The size of the statue is pretty impressive.

Beyond we all want to belong and behind True Friendships is Two Rooms. Two Rooms is a cubicle with a computer and chair. You just click on the mouse on the computer desk and you will be at her room. Her room is behind the cubicle. It's cluttered but full of life. I loved the sign that says, Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly, a quotation by Rose Franken. She seems to be a really creative person. She likes friends, quotations about life and love, and she plays an instrument. In the info notecard Secret writes, "This piece speaks to the fact that love is love, no matter how you find it or where you find it...the emotion is still the same."

Click on the pink moon to teleport to his room. His room is where you started at, just the computer with the mouse and webcam and photos of a pretty girl on the wall. There is one small bookshelf. It just seems Spartan compared to her room.

From Two Rooms you should arrive at Family Unit. We all have a family we're a part of. Turn off your AO and click the figures to be a part of that family. You know you want to, right?

Walk a few more steps and you arrive at The Bed. After you walk up the steps, you'll be jumping up and down like a child! Isn't it fun? When we're little, our parents tell us not to jump on the bed but we jump anyway, don't we? I know I did, at least a few times. Click under the bed and see what happens!

After that Bed is A life well lived. The building reminds me of a tomb. This is about how we keep our memories to ourselves and ordered in "private little cells." Secret writes that we should bring out those memories and examine them. Even sharing them with others is better than keeping them locked away and only look back on them when we are older.

Logically, nothing lasts forever is the next destination. Things in life are fleeting and "are soon washed away." Secret depicts this with the sandcastle and the dead grass. There is a blue shell you can press for sound. If it is too laggy you might not hear anything. As you walk away, you just see the terrain and when you can walk no further, you see the water. If you walk into the water, you should find yourself back at the main landing area. This sim takes you in a circular path. It is just like how there are cycles of the moon.

This work by Secret Rage is very introspective and reflective. If there is any message to be drawn from her work this month it is this, that we should enjoy our life and live without regrets. We have one life to live and we should live it well and not believe that a life is good if we have lots of merits and achievements to look back on in our spare time. I've learned that happiness is an inner state of being. We can be happy if we want to and whenever we want to. Furthermore, all human beings can relate to her work. It shows birth, life, and death. Life is a continuous cycle.

Intrigued by this work I have to ask questions and I know that Secret is enthusiastic to talk about her work.


How do you define Commonalities?

This is the notecard info you get at the show:

"All we hear about in the news today is the differences between countries, between cultures, between people...and how they each make this world a difficult place in which to live. It is true~ we are not all the same..not in geography,ethnicity or lifestyles~ BUT ~ for all of our differences...we are still more ALIKE than we are NOT.  Therefore, I choose not to focus on those differences.  Although some of the pieces in this show may not VISUALLY apply to everyone, the idea behind them likely does.  COMMONALITIES celebrates the things that make us a collective family...some joyous, some sad, some normal~ but every day things~ in all, they are a part of being  HUMAN and things to which we can all relate ."

OK~but the real deal is~ I am by CHOICE an extremely positive person~yet even  I know that we as a species will likely never be in a "one world" situation... for lots of reasons, really, but one of the main ones is  because everyone chooses to focus on the things that make us different and then uses those things as fodder for arguments and fighting...and for being separate.  I do realize it is an unrealistic wish, but... seriously~can't we all just GET ALONG? We are, after all, at the core soooooo very similar~ but we let petty, stupid things get in the way of what could be so much more of a beautiful  and  peaceful life. Since being in SL I have  gotten to know people from many other countries and cultures that until SL were very elusive and foreign to me... even including befriending people from countries that would be considered "enemies" of my country,  the US.  What I am very  pleased to say, though, is that what I find time and time again is not how  different we are~ but how alike. No matter what the country~we are all JUST PEOPLE. Commonalities is my reference to that~our similarities ...and to hope.

Why do you have dragonflies in Happy Eyes? What do dragonflies symbolize?

Think about any photo you have seen or place that you have been that has dragonflies in it... don't those places make your eyes happy? Typically they are brightly lit, colourful, happy places and often reminiscent of childhood and freedom. There is also something mysterious about dragonflies and their compound eye structure... it is impossible for us to see what they see~ but somehow they are always  in lovely that an accident of nature?
They are also one of my favourite sculpts that I have made... pure whimsy.

Why are there question marks in her room? Who is she? Or is this room just a room for any female, so female in general? Her room and His room look very different in size and content, why?

The question marks are not in her room...they are not in his room...they are in the space between them. ..THEIR commonalities. If you look upwards in that center space... you will see what connects them~ a cable with power running through it. The center room is what happens between them. Everything included in the room are things that run through their connection, their bond. Thoughts, dreams , wishes, emotions, media assaulting them, sometimes soothing them~~and a million questions. The rooms were actually made in reference to the story of two people I know well. The rooms are fashioned after two RL rooms. ..though in its essence, Two Rooms can be seen as somewhat generic, giving the viewer a visual representation of the relationships that can be built on something as simple as an internet connection, and the reality that no matter the beginning...a connection is still a connection. The emotions are not  much different than ones people have in RL~~the people are just physically far removed...while their feelings are not removed at all, and just as strong.

It's interesting how you envision our memories as cells. So we isolate ourselves as we cherish our life and hide them away from most of the world? Is this part of the mask we wear to show the world?

I think that probably most people compartmentalize their memories.  Though we do not want to totally forget them, there are many that we have that are just too strong to carry on the surface every day....whether they are those of past loves, people who have passed on, childhood dreams or misfortunes, injury or just plain strong emotions~ it is a sort of an emotional/informational cataloging, if you will. An extensive filing system. It  could be looked upon as isolationism, I suppose~ but I think of it more as the preservation of things we cherished that maybe we don't always want to share. I don't really see it as a mask... maybe more of the depth that makes up each of our personalities. Little softly closed books holding chapters of our lives that we can revisit at will...or maybe even the little pockets of honey in a beehive.

Did you create the sculpts, mesh, and textures?

I made the greater portion of all of them, yes. I hope to at some point be able to say 100% of all of them...but for now just the majority. It is going to be exceedingly hard to improve on the male and female mannequins that many of us use that were created by Danuc Landar of Arcane Creations. My sculpts are made using a Prim textures in Gimp...and are usually (though not always) made specifically for individual pieces, as opposed to making them and using them at some indefinite time.

Thanks so much Secret Rage!

I hope you come visit this installation full of life and sound!

Your limo awaits!

Have fun and enjoy the art!

~ Victoria Lenoirre

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