Sims in Second Life come and go. It never is a big deal. Until one of your favourite sims ceases to exist. And it is even a bigger deal when it concerns your top favourite Art sim. For me that without any doubt was MetaLES. Yes, WAS, because MetaLES is no longer. Curated by two wonderful persons/partners, Ux Hax and Romy Nayar MetaLES closed its doors on January 15. But I refuse to find a new favourite Art sim, simply because there is no better one :)
One of the most impressive things on MetaLES for me was the way it was curated. Often you do not really SEE and FEEL how an art exhibition by artist ‘WHOEVER’ is being curated. They are given a space and prims and go ahead. At MetaLES no such thing. The personal involvement of these 2 curators always was incredibly present in a way I would call devoted and with a heart and eye for the person behind the exhibition. Every single exhibition was given a personal touch by how they created a space around the artist’s work. And always with so much modesty and invisibility of themselves in name and presence as avatar, I sometimes felt like writing their names in CAPITALS on all the walls and objects they made to accommodate the exhibits. Just because it mattered . . . . their personal contribution made it unique and different, every time again. And . . . they always would make such spaces in close connection with the ones who came to exhibit. The idea of the artist was the guideline to create supporting structures. To see this wonderful sim disappear is a big loss for Second Life and the art community. I will call it a MetaLOSS.
The information provided at the entrance hall described MetaLES in this short note:
Art Virtual Space
Artists and creators of SL expose each for two months in sim MetaLES ..O..
Promoting culture and art in the Metaverse.
Event promoters, Per4mances. Machinimas , Digital Art and MoDe ArT
Curators Ux Hax and Romy Nayar.
Since a long time already there was a big sculpture at the entrance hall, called DARK TASTE, made by Romy Nayar. It shows a group of giant men with dark coats, eye-covering hats and long reptile like tongues. A bit sinister indeed. But also very intriguing and inviting to try to discover what they possibly could represent. When I visited the hall for the last time this week I decided to just sit between the feet of these giant men and listen to the various sounds that resonate between the walls. The vibrations of the looped sounds rezzed (and created?) by Ux and Romy, caused a mesmerising effect on me and made me sit for I think more than an hour, alone and totally away from the world. It was what you would call an intimate moment, timeless and empty of thoughts inside, only feelings. Nothing dramatic, more grateful and peaceful feelings actually, to have known this place and to also have been part of it once in a cooperation. I consider this long sit my personal goodbye to MetaLES. The magic of an empty entrance filled with sounds and one sculpture only . . .
The ‘DARK TASTE’ sculpture, the somber concrete walls and a dark WindLight setting at the entrance hall will for many maybe feel like cold and hard. But the enclosed space (a big box) with sound, visuals and light effects in fact always made me feel the opposite of cold and hard (or sinister). Maybe because I know the empathy and warmth of Ux and Romy, maybe because it was my favourite art sim, maybe because I always felt comfortable and at home. Whatever it is, it made me decide to make 2 pictures and cover them in a warm colour instead of the actual grey and black tones. To show it was far from dark, cold and hard:)
For the occasion of this blog about the closing of MetaLES I decided to do an interview with Romy and Ux. You can read below.
1. When did MetaLES start?
MetaLES started in 2009, as a group of women and a space dedicated to art, in Lanjran Choche’s Sim, in which we associate
2. What made you decide to start with MetaLES in SL?
I wanted to create a lesbian women group , that was not led by men with avatars of women, and focused on art too.
3. What made you decide to stop with MetaLES?
Lack of time for a project in RL with Romy Nayar.
4. Why did you choose the name MetaLES and what does the addition ‘O’ stand for?
MetaLES is a game of words
Meta = Metaverse – LES = lesbian
and in Spanish it turns to mean Metals
..O .. was the support group of Lanjran’s Sim
So that ..O .. was associated with the MetaLES Group and MetaLES..O .. was created
5. Are you both artists in RL?
Yes, we try … :]]
6. What did it bring you, all these years of hosting artist and, creating art and surroundings yourself?
To meet extraordinary artists, professionals and high human quality.
Exhibiting these works has been for us a true honour and satisfaction.
To know them in a more personal way and to see how they transformed the Sim into true wonders, always surprising with their works.
Each opening was an explosion of happiness.
As for our creations, in addition to a personal passion, without a doubt a great challenge.
Likewise, in some way, building and creating allowed us to appreciate more the technique and creation in SL, to promote and test the new tools, techniques and changes that this metaverse offered us during all these years.
7. What will you miss most?
Everything … It has been a lot of love and dedication
8. Is there a special memory you feel like unforgettable?
Yes, there are many special moments, but if you ask me to choose only one, the opening of Papermakis, the first full sim of Romy
9. Will the website, inworld MetaLES group, Facebook group and Flickr group stay?
Yes, and I would like to invite all the artists to publish their exhibitions in the FB group with more than 2000 members, it would be great to continue supporting the artists in some way. I would like to invite all the photographers who once photographed MetaLES to upload their photos to the flickr group. We would be very grateful, which we would like to leave open.
Regarding the two MetaLES blogs, its will continue online
10. Is it possible you will return with MetaLES at one day?
Never say never :]]
11. Anything to add yourself you would like to say and be published?
Many thanks to all the 3D, Video and Photo artists that have exhibited at MetaLES, it has been a true honor.
Many thanks to the bloggers, who have always devoted their time to give their point of view of the exhibitions,
I think that they are not appreciated enough in how important they are for art in SL and every time they are less …
Many thanks to the Machinima-makers, who during these years have created some wonderful and artistic machinimas of the exhibitions.
Thank you very much to the photographers, who have also done with their personal touch works of art.
Many thanks to the thousands of visitors who have been the living soul in MetaLES
Many thanks to all the friends for their support and especially to Morlita Quan who was from the beginning of MetaLES as official DJ and also especially thanks to Lanjran Choche.
Thanks to you Yoon … for everything!
A little tribute
As extra I asked Tutsy Navarathna to make a short 1 minute footage of the empty entrance hall, as a little tribute to MetaLES. Thank you Tutsy for doing so and thank you Daddio Dow to have recorded the sounds in the entrance hall for use in the movie. What more can I say . . . only a BIG BIG THANK YOU to Ux and Romy for having created MetaLES, the efforts for art and culture in Second Life, and your personal attention for all contributors. The art works made by Romy herself, and sometimes a full installation, also will be dearly missed. I hope to see you both return one day with MetaLES or another project. But above all I wish you both a very happy life with much pleasure and satisfaction in all new things that now need attention and deserve priority. You two rock, so I am sure it will be great. Thank you for the interview as well and take care with letting go of MetaLES. Make it a good memory!