How do you recognise a perfect creation?
The answer is you don’t because perfectionists never are really done are they?
So even if we say . . . “Wow, perfect”, the creator of what we just watched will know what was not so perfect and needed a compromise for some reason. A dissonant does not really exist in a perfect creation, unless it adds to the harmony of it all, like in music, to create a deliberate effect of a seemingly imperfect space. The only dissonant I spotted in the newly built Dixmix Gallery was myself. Standing inside this perfect structure with various spaces, open plan and more intimate ones both, I felt like the big dissonant ruining the balance it breaths. The symmetrical elements, the use of space and colours, the textures and lighting, the whole atmosphere breaths this modern minimalist approach in which a visitor will feel calm, warm and . . . . seen. With seen I mean all spaces are connected in a way you keep in touch with all who are inside. So, forget about stealing art, your act will not go unnoticed!
No seriously, it is done very well and one big feast of of aesthetics. I wish I could say to have designed and built it, but nope, I only write on it here with my own ways of perfection in that. The designer and architect are Dixmix Source himself as gallery owner and his long time friend Megan Prumier. The ones knowing their skills in this will be not surprised to link that to perfection I am sure. Their cooperation is a blended one. They understand each others ideas and translate them into a unique style with self created textures and classy objects. Timeless in design and decoration, yet very different than other galleries. Not just contemporary . . . that’s too common. Let’s call it the DMP style, Dix-M-Prumier, for the occasion. It deserves its own name :)
What’s wrong with the old gallery?
The existing gallery was perfect enough you mean? Well, maybe, but just like perfection, creativity never stops and needs expansion to keep alive. Like we need food for thoughts, to not become numb, we also need to fuel our creativity to prevent routine as our best creation and inspiration. To challenge oneself for a next level or different level always is good. Not every change turns out to be an improvement as well automatically, so you do take a risk when you decide to make a new gallery that is supposed to outclass the existing one. And the scary thing is you only will know it after all work is done. Like replacing your best rose ever and hoping the new rose will not look poor.
There always will be people who find every change a bad choice. The ones that grow attached to a place for their own personal reasons. Maybe it was your inspiring start in SL, maybe you met someone special at an exhibition, maybe you did or visited multiple exhibitions and venues. Time makes us bond with each other and also with places. To let go of something you cherish, even if ‘only’ prims and what they meant for you, can be a bit sad yes. But new times and new attachments will grow again, just like with love between people. It only needs an open mind and willingness to allow it to grow. If not instantly in love with the new gallery you just need a little time. But my guess is most will feel it as improvement. I do myself. A warmer, less compartmentalised space, meant to connect people in their shared interest for art, music and socialising. Yup, I myself am not the best example for that last part, but hey . . . I am just a blogger who likes to sneak in when everyone else is gone. It does not mean I do not see the potential of a new place and how it fits the needs for being a good gallery space. But let’s listen to Dixmix and Megan themselves now to know some more on the background of this project. I did a short ‘interview’ with them (read: I dropped them both a notecard with questions, me being a lazy journalist) which can be read in the next paragraphs.
First a short intro on Dixmix himself:
Dixmix Source: I’m from Brussels Belgium and I’m 14 years old in SL and since I understood how to put 4 walls and a roof together I had a gallery in the virtual world.
Is a gallery just walls and roof? I don’t think so, it’s more about what you can see inside and sometimes . . . what you don’t see. Year after year I try to develop complicities with artists I’m working with … photographers, builders, 3D creators, DJ’s. I’m trying to share a spirit and it’s something you don’t see but you can definitely feel.
For 9 years I’m working with Megan as friend and builder, partner in crime. We know each other so well we have developed a strong complicity. Six months ago I convinced her to build a brand new gallery. It started with a drawing I made. It becomes a 3d model on my computer and after that we built it in SL. Step by step, prim after after prim. Textures, furnitures, lights. All has been carefully considered to make it possible to show pictures in the best way and to make visitors catch that important feeling. It’s time to share it now. . .
Questions and Answers by Dixmix Source:
1. What was the reason to design a new gallery?
The quote by Marcel Duchamps, ‘Destruction is also creation’, best expresses the motivation behind the new design. When we bought the Fanatik building (for the ‘old’ gallery), it was sold to be a store and Megan turned it into an art gallery. She did it so well that 4 years later, we can see the same building used by other gallery owners. Every year’s anniversary, and every first exhibition after Summer celebrations, (this year September 19th), we used to repaint the walls and change the decorations. This time we decided to build a new gallery. That process started in March. I wanted modern with luxurious wood, white concrete and dark marble. I wanted it easier to work inside and show pictures in a better way. The dance floor is now in the middle of the gallery because I never felt comfortable having the DJ alone in a room while we were greeting in one of the galleries.
2. Why a gallery at all? There are so many galleries.
I rezzed in SL during a cold and rainy evening in November 2006. One year later I officially opened the first Dixmix Gallery. Why so long? First, I needed time to jump over the wall around the house where I lived. Then I had to understand how to play with my avatar. I’m not a gamer and nothing was intuitive. Soon I met friends, good friends, people more interested in SL Art than going to dark BDSM sims. One of them was Abby, she was my mécène (patron) and offered me a big platform in her sky to build my gallery. Is the sky really the limit ? We lost Abby Seurat in 2013 and in her homage I gave her name to one of the galleries, like I did with two others, Amalfia Handly and maybe most known in the art scene, Amona Savira, a dear person and treasured artist, special to many of us. Here she will live on.
3. What is art for you if you would try to define it?
I don’t believe in art, I believe in artists. Art is everywhere. I see art in the sky. I’m always amazed to admire how the wind models the clouds. It’s so creative. I’m Belgian. This little country is known for beer, chocolate, waffles, saxophones, Magritte, Jacques Brel and the famous cartoon character Tintin (Kuifje in Flemish) who was the first to walk on the moon. Our geopolitic is so unique, that our politicians are all artists in their way. Surrounded by art, yes I am.
4. What makes your gallery different?
A gallery is about the spirit inside. I share my own experiences and inspiration, but also show respect and gratitude to people who accept my invitation for an exhibition. Without these photographers and DJ’s and without support from our visitors, the gallery will not be as it is.
5. Are you an artist yourself in some way?
I have always chosen the direction of my life. I never woke up to go the office. I had the chance to be paid to do what I like. At fourteen I was writing for a music magazine and played with rock bands. At 20 I had my own radio channel and a few years later I was Head of Music for a well known European pay tv. I’ve been producer, director, and so, music, and images always have been a huge part of my life. Does that make me an artist or is it just because it’s written as profession in my national file? Never mind. I don’t like labels.
6. How do you select work for the gallery?
I used to select work for the gallery by following photographers on Flickr, looking everyday to see what they had posted. When I felt it was time I would send a message showing 3 or 4 pictures I liked, asking if they would like to talk about an exhibition in my gallery. In time I built my network of artists and some of them just like to show once a year. I like the idea of having recurrent artists and also giving a first chance to others. There are three different photographers featured each month, along with 3D installations. I started planning this gallery year in June and in a few days the calendar was full until January. Some would be thinking … ‘good the job is done’, but I think it’s only starting. Can you imagine how many words a photographer can write about his/her doubts and lack of inspiration? I try to help the best I can. With some it’s easy, with others it needs more patience. It’s all part of the process.
7. What do you like best of the gallery?
What I prefer in the gallery is the taste of coffee. Nothing compares to waking up, logging in and smell that strong Italian espresso. Seriously, Megan and I spent the last five months building, choosing textures, and every piece of decoration, to make the gallery a place to enjoy spending time in. Now I want to hang photographs on the walls, host people and show our work. Adjustments will be softly done.
Questions and Answers by Megan Prumier:
1. You have a passion for creating. What fuels that?
My passion for creating in SL exists because with creativity and imagination you can do all what you want, from real places to fantasy places and in many different ways. That can be a lot of fun.
2. You create in a way I would call with eye for every detail. Are you ever having the feeling it is finished or are time and prims deciding it is finished?
I love details. They tell stories about the place: What happens there, who was there and they make a place alive and realistic. I usually build for people. I try to never fill a place to avoid lag but most of the time it depends on their requests.
3. How has your cooperation with Dixmix become so close, in terms of being able to translate each others ideas on how it should look.
My collaboration with Dix started 9 years ago. This is why I know well about what he likes and his tastes. This is the 4th gallery I build for him.
4. Which part of the new gallery you like best yourself?
I don’t have a favourite spot in the gallery. What I like is that Dix has named the 3 galleries after dear friends who are not with us anymore. That is a nice way to remember them and keep them with us.
5. When will you say no to a creation proposal?
The only time I will reject a work is when people ask me for a beach (I never liked SL beaches) or to copy another place.
The photographs in this blog are not made by me, hence the name tag visible on each of them.
I kindly thank the maker of them, Key Monk, for having permission to use them in this blog.
Promotion video by Dixmix Source
Now you know all about the why and how it is time to know WHEN, WHERE and WHO.
WHEN: Grand opening on Saturday 19th of September, 12:00 SLT
WHEN: On Saturday 26th in the Womb (the 3d room of the gallery up in the sky): Theda Tammas
WHERE: TP to Dixmix Gallery
Windlight will be automatically set if you land (unless you have blocked that option).
The Dixmix Gallery is open 7/7 and has a party every Saturday.
Owner and curator: Dixmix Source
Builder and huge inventory: Megan Prumier
Gallery photographer: Key Monk
Press: Violet Boa
Heads-up for next week
Next week I will blog on Theda Tammas’ installation at Dixmix Gallery, called SILENCE.
Stay informed to not miss it.