Saturday, 18 April 2015

131: Molly Bloom's art opening at Holtwaye Gallery

I've been a little out of touch with SL lately -- too busy in real life to blog a lot. So now that I'm a little more available, I thought I should get out there and mingle. Tonight I popped into SL intending on relaxing for a while. When the invitation came from my friend Holter at the Holtwaye Gallery (SLURL is here) to come and hear some music by performing artist Down Under and view the opening of an exhibition of interesting artworks by Molly Bloom, well, what's not to like?
   I'll say first off, the pictures are worth your time; go see the exhibition. They involve a clever use of three-dimensionality that engages the viewer in some "hmm, what am I seeing?" moments and it's a pleasant experience. Also the work is technically quite fine, great balance and rendering, and there's a kind of quirky sense of humour underlying the pictures that's very appealing. Like the artist is bringing you into her quirky worldview, and that's fun.
   A few friends were there; I was having some serious software issues and couldn't manage to grab more than the one photograph, but I wish I'd been able to get snapshots of my friends Cupric Router and Hotboy Lockjaw, and fellow blogger Ziggy Starsmith. (I'm sure he'll have some things to say about the event, here.) And a bunch of other nice people, 25 or 30 of them, all dancing and having a good time.
   Down Under was performing some 80s standards and was engaging the audience in a happy shared experience. And I started chatting with Holter only to learn that there had been quite a bit of controversy in the previous few hours. Apparently a musical group 'the follow' that had originally been booked to  perform at the show had canceled at the last minute -- because of the "demonic naked art" involved in two of the pictures. One of these is a very sexy naked .. imp? something like that ... that has a pair of strategically placed pasties. As well, it later turned out that the group would have refused the booking had they understood that Holtwaye Gallery was a "homosexual club". (Um, it's not.) Holter seems to have handled this with courage, tact, and grace under fire; he booked Down Under and the event came off on time, on schedule, and honestly, folks, you'd never have known there'd been any furor.  (Well done, Holter.) But the furor had just begun.
   I think a couple of other bloggers have talked about this story more knowledgeably than I can, and I encourage you to read what Molly Bloom has to say, if you're hooked into her with social media. She is quoted tonight in the blog Confessions of a Daddy Bear, and you will find artist and blogger Ziki Questi has talked with the gallery's curator Holter at Ziki Questi's Blog. I can't show you the art in any detail, because I don't have permission (I try to be respectful to people who are trying to sell SL images) but Ziki Questi has shown you images that will give you a much better idea of what brought about ... well, what I have to call a ridiculous reaction by 'the follow'. Cmon, it's 2015, you have to try to respect everyone, and it's all just a bunch of pixels anyways. Grow the fuck up.
   Be that as it may; I'm sure there are nuances to this situation of which I'm not aware, and I don't have the full story. Sounds like everybody should investigate this situation on their own in order to have an informed opinion.  I'm happy to make up my mind on inadequate evidence that I wouldn't book 'the follow' to play at an event and I don't like what they seem to have done; your mileage may vary. I will say this, though. In an age when recently a rinky-dink pizza parlour in the US can announce that it won't serve homosexuals, is thereupon closed by the furore and afterwards crowdfunds nearly a million dollars for its future needs from a bunch of anti-gay nitwits -- the best response to events like this is to go and look at the art, support Molly Bloom by buying something, and especially support Holtwaye Gallery. Holtwaye is doing exactly what it should do in bringing you great art with advanced themes and execution, and they deserve your support in the face of nonsense like this.

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