Between dreams and nightmares: imagined futures in exhibition by Wicca Merlin and me

For the second part of this holiday season’s celebration in The 22 art space, the fabulous photographer, model and creator Wicca Merlin and I present to Second Life’s residents Electric Sheep, one of the two exhibitions dedicated to SL’s sci-fi and cyberpunk universe – the other one being Huckleberry Hax’s Waarheid: Truth Hunter – that open today, December 18, in the gallery, in Bellisseria. Electric Sheep runs until March 19, 2022, and displays two different views of the cyber-futuristic environment in Second Life. Each photographer shows five pictures of their existing catalog and another three new pictures especially conceived for the present exhibition.

Wicca Merlin’s photos in the exhibition Electric Sheep

The sci-fi universe, especially from the 1980s on, when terms such as metaverse, the grid and matrix, just to mention a few, became popular, is a reference to Second Life. In the photos by both Wicca Merlin and me, we can see themes whose origin can be traced back to those years – among them, certain urban aesthetics, aspects that owe to the cyberpunk imaginary and a more chaotic environment (in contrast with some fictional futures conceived as harmonic ones). Still, we present very different views of those elements.

Ricco Saenz’s pictures

Wicca’s production draws on a certain eclecticism. It mixes cyberpunk allusions and aliens, mechanical implants and bioengineering, science-referenced items and fantasy ingredients. It is itself, then, a very thoughtful melange, as Wicca skillfully handles the different influences seen in her work.

Wicca Merlin’s photos at The 22

Also, Wicca’s photos are centered on characters. They present on persons the result of the futuristic aesthetics imagined by the photographer. Or, it can also be said, they present persons as the result of that aesthetic imagination.

Ricco Saenz’s photos

My own photos combine less thematic elements, but their points of attention vary from persons to cityscapes. Their fantasy side (expressed in a couple of pictures of heroes that can fly with impossible wings) are less fantastic and more technological (even if they are absurd).

The bar at the gallery space

By seeing the production of both Wicca and me, then, residents that go visit the exhibition at The 22 will be able to observe some very different ways to relate with sci-fi and to dream of the future – or to build nightmares from it – in SL. We hope the public will enjoy it.

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