12 October 2014

Ovis Aries

The materials are spare: three sheep that babble artspeak, four invisible columns that generate the sound of applause, four pieces of artwork floating in the water, and a tall tower, on which sits a pile of shit illuminated by a shaft of light. Such is the scene at LEA22, where Sowa Mai has installed Ovis aries (or at least that's the name of the sim), with a note to the LEA blog: "Sowa Mai has once again sidestepped his original idea and brought us a complete bastardization of the whole Second Life art ouvre. With this pile of shit he has left on our doorstep it is safe to say this will be the last time he is invited to participate. Don’t miss it." (If you really want to hear the sheep chat, you should bring a friend, as they suggest — witness their chatter with me and Seductive Paramour: "[20:03] sheep04: Seductive Paramour: With regard to the issue of content, the iconicity of the negative space notates a participation in the critical dialogue of the 90s. I've seen this from Ziki Questi only a hundred times bigger. [20:03] sheep04: Ziki Questi: It's difficult to enter into this work because of how the aura of the negative space completely eradicates any notion of the larger carcass. I've seen this from Seductive Paramour at Uqbar." And so on.)

If all this might have you scratching your head, the accompany notecard might help, and begins, "When I was a wee boy I was praised for using the big toilet. Since then I have been making shit and looking for praise. I make paintings, sculptures, songs, dinners and I make a me that hopefully you will like. I proudly hold up my makings and eagerly await your judgement...I will always worry what you think of me even though what you think is none of my business. It is the way I am built. What can change and what is changing is the weight I give to those thoughts and emotions." So, shit and judgment. And paintings by Sowa's real life human Stephen Beveridge apparently discarded and drifting in the water. Does the context provided by the notecard help give meaning the work? Yes. Is it worth your while to visit? That's harder to say. (Also, try to stay upwind from the shit.)


  1. Wow Ziki! I have to go visit! I've actually been hanging out at the LEA sims a fair bit lately, but I've somehow missed a visit to LEA22, thanks for the tip! The terrain and windlight here look sublime.

    I'm sure you've been to Kimika Ying's "Sister Planet" over at LEA29. It's a real favorite of mine.

  2. haha, I just tried to do a Google Hangout from LEA22, but Sheep4 was interrupting too much, so I had to leave! :P

  3. Thanks, Vanessa — I'll try to get around to LEA29 soon!