The exhibition Dialogues: patterns, people promotes a conversation between the works of Melusina Parkin and Whiskey Monday, two of the most well-known photographers in Second Life. It’s an interaction whose participants are their images and whose substance is the polysemous repertoire of photographic art. Dialogues… runs from April 9 to June 26 at The 22 art space, kept by Randy Firebrand and me in Bellisseria.
The visual dialogue between Whiskey Monday and Melusina Parkin is based on a series of images produced in different moments by each photographer and on new stills especially conceived for the exhibition at The 22. On the side of the new productions are the works Beam, Corners, Inside Job and Outward, by Whiskey, and What are they saying, Faded double and Thoughts, by Melusina.
The images are divided into two main subjects: patterns and people. The sets by each artist show how the same theme can be developed in a substantially different way — and yet they may have something in common or talk to each other.
In patterns, both photographers play with repetition and variation: though each image seems to display some recurrence, they all include change, rupture or alteration. They also rely on some geometric arrangement: on Melusina’s pictures, it evolves from straight lines, the raw material from which the whole scene rises; on Whiskey’s, geometry comes from frequency, from the multiplication of shapes that are often more organic.
It doesn’t mean that those characteristics cannot change sides. On the one hand, the recurrence of organic forms forms the base of Melusina’s picture More Winter 1. On the other hand, Whiskey’s Choose strongly relies on the power of straight lines. Yet, it’s not as if those pictures would suddenly feel displaced in each artist’s production — and that’s the beauty of Dialogues…: one can see that the creations by both photographers talk to each other, they can present connections and contrasts without falling into chaos or indifference.
Communication between the various artworks can also be seen in the second part of the exhibition, people. There, the characters displayed on Whiskey’s pictures fully offer themselves to the eyes of the public, as if they were statements — sometimes stronger, sometimes more delicate, but often revealing or holding somehow the sense of each image. Still, there’s some mystery there, one can feel it in pictures such as Inside Job or Here There Everywhere.
Melusina’s characters, on their turn, are marked by insinuation. They are seen from behind or through windows and shutters, indicating that something is left unseen on each picture. However, they can reveal more of themselves, such as on What are they saying or even on Details 4, an image that presents partiality not as the lack of something, but as a full object, as all that there is to observe.
The idea behind Dialogues: patterns, people is that the dialogue between both artists’ production may underline some characteristics of each set of images. Also, it leads us to see the same subjects from very different points of view, recognizing that, though distinct, they can communicate, further enriching themselves. Both Whiskey’s and Melusina’s works are powerful and the conversation between them is remarkably provocative to the viewers’ eyes.
Again: Dialogues: patterns, people, by Whiskey Monday and Melusina Parkin, runs from April 9 to June 26 at The 22. Randy and I hope the public will enjoy the exhibition as much as we do.