This month at LEA 6 is a full sim build by Gem Preiz, Cathedral Dreamer. Gem is a talented artist from Paris, France. The opening was January 6th at 2pm SLT.
The link should take you directly to the Central Square. When I arrived hours later, Gem was still there to greet visitors. He is such a thoughtful host, isn't he? All day people arrived to congratulate him and walk about his halls. If he were a principal of a school, I'm not sure he would mind seeing everyone walking up and down the halls all day. :-)
Below, you see the sign that you can touch to receive a notecard. The notecard says:
Above all, this project is an opportunity to exhibit my most recent fractal creations. I hope you will like them and that they will lead you to the imaginary universes which they enable me to visualize. I have staged them in environments which aim to give them meaning and to evoke thoughts and concerns which are important to me. However, I am not a good builder, so I hope you will forgive me for my clumsiness.
I would like to thank the LEA committee for having granted me this Sim, as well as my friends who have encouraged me throughout this work and, in particular, my friend Keltyana for the help she gave me by decorating the East Wing. A very special thanks to ArtBlue for the continuation which he intends to give this creation.
The fractal works exhibited on the Sim will be visible in my new gallery in Timamoon Arts as per the opening date
The Sim consists of four exhibition halls served by a central square where visitors arrive. I recommend that you respect the order of visit as set out below.
The central and empty square is a kind of crossroads symbolizing the choices which each of us inevitably has to make about the various attitudes towards Life, the world and other people, and the halls represent my own experience of it.
The East path is invaded step by step by vegetation and leads to Hall 1. The water reigns in it as Life, evoked by a submarine world which auto-generates and in which Mankind is almost absent. It is the domain of the present and permanency at the same time. It is also the evocation of the contemplative attitude of Man before Nature.
The West path, sprinkled with garbage, leads to Hall 2, which looks like an old, abandoned hangar, populated with jailed creatures. Fractals evoke the frantic human activity through constructions - the immense scale of which is sometimes beyond belief - but which are all doomed to decay, destruction or of being forgotten. Evocation of the human society which takes, in its whirlwind, the individuals who are the actors and the slaves.
Between the former two lies the path to the North - to the Dream, ambitions, projects, future: the Dream which brings hope and enthusiasm but also hides the risk of disappointment. Twenty-four sculptures with a look of resignation line the path on both sides and warn the creator, discourage him and make him doubt, without stopping his journey towards Hall 3.
There, a fresco representing a fractal cathedral displays its gigantic structure under the eyes of twelve characters who discover the various aspects thereof. Twelve reactions in front of the crazy project of a creator who will never see his dream materialize.
Finally, the path to the South, the reality of which fades step by step, as it leads to Hall 4, a hall which I wanted to be made of lights and pure lines - beyond Time, beyond the world and beyond human activity. A universe of pure concepts which evokes the domain and the activity of the spirit, and which everyone will fill with one's own faith.
Youtube version with music
There is no music on the Sim but the installation can be found in 4 parts on YouTube, in small musical slides :
Hall 1 : http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=AAtorkdhMQ0
Hall 2 : http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=k2raOvKYVXM
Hall 3 : http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=eNzbyYSFeE0
Hall 4 : http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=5VqlQO9H2pM
(insist twice if it pretends the video to be unavailable)
The Settings used in the movies are respectively :
Hall 1 : Places Las Lagunas
Hall 2 : Places Pathfinder
Hall 3 : Raymond's Brighter day
Hall 4 : Midnight
But you may choose any settings you prefer for the visit of the installation
|Gem Preiz and a friend greeting guests at Cathedral Dreamer, LEA 6|
From your arrival point, you can go towards the grass, past a bench area with a beautiful violet blossomed tree and into Cath 1 Hall. The grassy path is so inviting. Inside, it looks like a colorful aquarium. I spotted a sea turtle on the wooden floor. In the middle of the floor you see a half-sunken hull of a sailboat with a tattered canvas sail. You can see a gentle light in the ceiling to simulate the light above the surface of the water.
|Inside Cath Hall 2|
The walls are a rich, deep aqua color. The fractal pictures on the wall are of sea coral in various shades like red, purple and orange. It made me think of the Great Barrier Reef. The colors brighten up the black walls. A neat little touch Gem added is a white shark that moves around one wall, just weaving and waving around in a circle. To get to the next hall, you have to walk out the door through which you entered and step into the Central Square. I did find it strange to have to walk back from whence I came, as most of the full sim builds have used teleporting devices to take people to the next section of the structure. For those who own a tablet and have Lumiya installed, finding the door might be a tricky task (since draw distance in Lumiya is rather low, I have not figured out how to change it). I visited from my tablet on January 7th. Lumiya's graphics have improved a lot since last Spring, but to get the full effect of any place in SL you must be on a laptop or desktop. Cath Hall 1 is my favorite hall.
Cath Hall 2 is behind the Cathedral Dreamer sign. It is the building with the bronze statues standing in the middle of the floor. Gem calls this "The Dream." In this hall are many views of the cathedral. The fractal images line the walls. Bronze statues seem to gaze at the images. Most are standing and some are slumped in sitting positions on the floor. They have ambition but they also feel discouraged. It feels like such a vast cathedral, so much detail in the images. As you gaze at it, don't you feel like the cathedral will just swallow you up? The immensity is startling and eye-opening.
In Cath Hall 2, I felt like I was in a vast church only there were no pews and no altar. All eyes face front...the fractal on the back wall which you see as you walk through the doors. My eyes were drawn to it and would have stayed riveted on it if not for the bronze statues scattered throughout.
Cath Hall 3 is the one with the garbage barrels. On the walkway, you will see at least one stray barrel lying on its side. The sculptures leading to the doors have pessimistic messages like, "A Whole Life Would Not Be Enough." Inside, are more images of the cathedral on the gray walls. Look up to the ceiling! Up there are five cages hanging by chains with figures inside in various positions of pain and despair.
Cath Hall 4 is in the deep aqua-colored building. Inside and out it glows, make sure to enabled advanced lighting model from the graphics tab in the preferences menu. Inside, there is a blue glow and a yellow glow. The colors made me think of stars and how the bluest stars are the hottest stars and the yellow stars are the warmer stars. The walls are pitch black so the colors glow even more. You can find stairs leading to a smaller room from either stairway, there are steps on the blue and yellow glow sides. Blue is on your left and yellow is on your right. And those lead to another room. Eventually, you will see a teleport pad to get back to the hall entrance.
Gem has been displaying his fractal art in SL since 2012. He also has work up now at Tinamoon.
I was pleased I got to meet him and I later sent him some of my questions, which he promptly answered.
What does the cathedral symbolize?
(I understand cathedral as the north hall of the installation, and not as the installation as a whole itself)
The cathedral symbolizes dreams, ambitions, projects, all things which make us go forward, which create a target and a purpose for living, which make us enthusiastic and enable us to give the best of ourselves. It is overwhelming by its size (and I hope beauty) as an unreachable dream. Cathedrals are constructions that have always been fascinating to me, as they were the synthesis of the sciences and arts of their time. They are also grand projects that their conceptors and architects could never see completed, as Gaudi in Barcelona, who dreamt the "Sagrada Familia", initiated it, but let it be built by future generations. Consider the 12 mannequins in the hall as spectators of this craziness or future builders of it, but the creator still remains alone with his dream (and despair when it's beyond his reach).
Why are people in cages in hall 3?
The hall 3 is an evocation of the contemporary (and likely remaining the same or worst in the future) frantic life of human society, never stopping building constructions and organizations everyday, each one more immense and complex, all things doomed to be forsaken, destroyed or replaced;And in any case, they are finally useless at the individual level. It is a whirlwind that no one can stop and to which everyone contributes, but at the same time is enslaved.
Where do we get our faith?
.............................. Mine is in the vertigo I feel thinking to the unbelievable immensity, complexity and perfection of the Universe, and that Mankind, thanks to the sole power of our brain, is step by step discovering the keys of It ... at least some of them.
What do you believe about the spiritual life?
I am not religious.
I am surrounded by the Universe and evolve among human beings. My own spiritual life could be summarized in two thoughts.
Concerning Universe : How to accept that the origin enigma will never be solved, and how to live it serenely.
Concerning Human beings : how to be a part of the Mankind community which is getting more and more connected and standardized, and at the same time keeping a fully free individuality.
Do you feel like the world is becoming too materialistic that we are losing our sense of spirituality?
First there is a big difference between (sorry if someone else would give different meanings to the words themselves) what I call beliefs, which arise from ignorance, and spirituality which is a produce of thinking and intelligence. Materialism should not be rejected as a whole, as it enables first to fulfill basic and essential needs, and also to develop education and improve health for instance. But it becomes questionable when too much materialism blind people, consume all their available time, and prevent them to enjoy what wealth brings to them, I mean the ability to get rid of material problems, and to think, to become spiritual.
What is it about spirituality and the mind that fascinates you?
The amazing power of our brain which enables us to step back, think about ourselves, and be curious about all and everything. The unquenchable thirst to understand and to know. Our ability to turn unsolved fundamental questions and the unavoidable end of life into inner peace (though not mine, yet)
What is your art at Tinamoon about?
Timamoon is the place where I had initially a little showroom, but where I settled recently my whole gallery.
Its purpose is to exhibit permanently ALL my works, either hung, or gathered into catalogs of past exhibitions. They are 90% fractal art, of all kinds I issued (abstracts, architectural, fantasy, science-fiction, ...), and 10% of abstract digital images which are not fractal ones (and exhibited only once in SL).
The common point of all these works is "Imagination", as they have the power to make the mind race, and I hope the spectator's one as well.
Thanks so much, Gem! Cathedral Dreamer is a fabulous work! It should serve to make you want to believe in you and your future.
Have fun and enjoy the art!