09 March 2015

When life gives you apples...run!

Now open at LEA6 as the final installment of the Linden Endowment for the Arts Full Sim Art Series (the sim, no worries, will continue to offer other artistic opportunities) is Rebeca Bashly's When life gives you apples...run! "Looking at various myths, legends and fairy tales, apples seem to be pretty misfortunate for women," Rebeca says in her exhibition notes. "When an apple appears in a story, you know that something will go bad. From Eve through Greek mythology to Snow White, there was always a catch with an apple. It is beautiful, delicious, tempting, seductive. A perfect disguise for all bad that can come. I use it as a symbol for the monstrosities that woman too often don't recognize as such in its early stages. This installation is about domestic violence and eating disorders — on first sight two very different things, but violence against someone and violence against oneself are the same thing, a violence."

And an eaten apple is precisely where we find ourselves as we arrive, although you might not realize it unless you zoom way out. (I've had repeated problems with the mesh of the apple not rezzing on arrival, so try right-clicking the general area, which should force it to appear.) About 95 meters high from its base to the tip of its stem, the apple is an extraordinary piece of mesh sculpture that brings to mind Rebeca's Colossus of Rhodes, created for Fashion for Life in 2013. As visitors wind their way upwards and through it, worm-like (just follow the path), they encounter two points at which they teleport away to second scenes: No Place Like Home, with an emphasis on domestic violence (image above, with a heart bursting apart a house over a highway); and Doll House, which focuses on anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa (lowest image). At each location, a brief story awaits. Positioned in the center of the apple between the two story locations is a prominent sculpture, Seed2 (image below), featuring two women, naked and intertwined.

When you make it the top of the apple (there are a couple spots where I fell through the floor — just keep going), you'll step out at the pinnacle, where a tremendous view of the apple awaits. This is a poignant work, heartfelt and personal, and a fitting end to the Full Sim Art Series, which has been administered by the University of Western Australia (UWA) in partnership with the LEA. When life gives you apples...run! will remain on display through March.

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