Cherry Manga’s art store in Adrenalin, Second Life, is itself an installation that integrates her different creations in a very clever way. There, one can find sculptures that were used in a variety of works by the artist, such as the Does not hold water chair, which appeared in State of mind (2020), or Nostalgie, part of a project that can be seen in FrancoGrid, an Open Simulator grid. The building’s structure, itself, creates a meaningful surround or, better, an artful environment for the many pieces it houses, which amalgamate new senses, both individually and in relation to each other. That’s the genius of the place: not only it sells art (and I use that verb here in a broad way, since some of the items are, in fact, graciously given to visitors), but also it is art.
Actually, we can say that the place is a re-edition of Cherry box, once located elsewhere in SL. It is designed as a grid, but incorporates moving elements (that don’t really bring transformation, for they evolve according to a repeated pattern). The place is, then, reduced to its basic representation, in the form of coordinates in a 3D space – given by the crossing of vertical and horizontal lines on its walls and floor – that is about to collapse on visitors’ heads or to hit avatars hard, but never really goes beyond, let’s say, that threat. It’s in that area that other Cherry Manga’s works are displayed.
The individual pieces are a testimony of the variety of the artist’s production. At the same time, they attest its consistency: there is a style there to be observed. In a decision that can be considered a political manifesto, many items are offered to visitors – some for L$1, some for no payment in return at all – in full permissions. “Open source resources for everyone”, says Cherry Manga’s profile. “Don’t sell it, play with it!” (Notice that some objects are more expensive, but that just seemed natural to me: after all, one has to pay their bills, including their Second Life ones).
The variety and the consistency in Cherry Manga’s sculptures, together, play a part in the fact that they work well in the same space: the store is not a warehouse full of items that do not dialog with each other. It’s the opposite: one can establish some visual and sometimes thematic relation among them, and yet it’s noticeable that they do not form any unity (as in a coherent installation, for instance). This is something quite interesting to observe.
Of course, the items do dialog with the building, too. Not only some of the sculptures bring boxes and cubes as part of their elements, but also they all work well in the grid moving structure that envelopes them. As baroque statues in a baroque church often seem to be in perfect communion with the whole temple, the structure that houses Cherry Manga’s objects perfectly functions as their cathedral.
Finally, Adrenalin also brings other areas worth visiting, such as Et Cetera… Art Gallery, by JadeYu Fhang, and another installation by Cherry Manga, Molecul. Not only the store, but the whole parcel offered me a fascinating trip into the unusual, which is one of the most appealing roles of art in our lives.