Questions on the real and the Unreal in Second Life

2 months ago 50
Vibes Gallery: Axiomatic Clarity – RealUnreal
What is it to take a picture?
I ask that to myself and I let that question absorb me subconsciously, continuously as I render what I see into a frame so that elements of composition, light and background fuse in a balance in dependent from the subject.
The subject means nothing. 

– from the introduction of RealUnreal

What is the real nature of a photograph? Once upon a time, cameras and photographs were a means to freeze a moment in time; a memory, something that might become an instant marked in history or a simple sharing of a family activity, a moment of friendship or love or something else.

Vibes Gallery: Axiomatic Clarity – RealUnreal

Today, however, almost everyone has a camera at their fingertips. From the advent of the basic point-and-click “instant” camera through the rise of digital camera to the merging of camera and cellphone / smartphone, we have all become photographers. And with the increase in digital editing software readily accessed through ‘phone and computer, we have all become self-styled digital artists. Further, such is the skill we have developed in using such post-processing editing tools that it perhaps prompts the question: how much of an image remains true – remains real – to its subject, and how much is “unreal”, the result of the photographer imposing their subjective interpretation of their subject through cropping, light and colour adjustments, changes in focus, and other editorial techniques?

These are some of the questions posed in  a new exhibition of images  by Axiomatic Clarity, gathered from both the physical world and Second Life, which is currently on display at Eviana Robbiani’s Vibes Gallery. The title of the exhibition is RealUnreal – which itself references the fact the images offered are from both the physical and virtual realms.

Vibes Gallery: Axiomatic Clarity – RealUnreal
Although the methodology is a good compromise it still does not grasp what I am looking at. Do I know what that is, do I like how it manifests, do I let it change myself?

– from the introduction of RealUnreal

Across the three gallery halls and the spaces between, Axiom presents a marvellous collection of predominantly black-and-white or monochrome images, with two of the halls focused on images from the physical world, and one on images from Second Life. They are all evocative; all have a story to tell. They challenge us to see them as images offered for display and how the artist arrived at their finished appearance; that is, what is the reality of their focus and content, and how much is “unreal” – the result of that subjective imposition placed on each by the artist through the editorial process? Indeed, what does each say about the artist’s approach to photography and developing a balance between the subject of each image, and the story the photographer feels drawn to tell?

Is it possess[ion], is it obsession, is it a form of growth?
The deeper to discriminate at a deeper and abstract level, a level where the photographic language borders the inexpressible and even replaces the subject entirely … and I tentatively find that balance.

– from the introduction of RealUnreal

Vibes Gallery: Axiomatic Clarity – RealUnreal

These are complex questions, worthy of being pondered given they are central to the photographer’s approach and execution of their art, with RealUnreal mixing fabulously expressive we have a complex, visually compelling selection of art that draws us into the questions of “reality” vs. “unreality” and the drives that govern a photographer in the creation of their art.

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Published by Inara Pey

Eclectic virtual world blogger with a focus on Second Life, VR, virtual environments and technology.

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