03 January 2016

Fading Masks & Simply Samples of Her Repertoire

Opening at Berg by Nordan Art today, Sunday, January 3, 9 am slt, are two concurrent exhibitions: Fading Masks by Haveit Neox and Simply Samples of Her Repertoire by Mich Michabo. The former is the larger of the two installations and is situated over the water at the ground level: two towering, gesturing human forms, right arms extended, are supported by a circle of columns, all surrounded by arcs of walking figures (photo above). A poetic text accompanies Haveit's work:

      I don’t believe you
      you don’t believe me either
      the human brain is made of story cells
      we concoct the truth, don’t we, rather than see it
      then we march with the like-minded to affirm our stories
      no, dear reader, you are not an exception without victims
      but our mask can fall at any moment
      beware, we enlightened ones, for the store of hatred we have,
      or worse, for the amount of love
      we’d stolen away for all the years.

A composition that is intended to accompany Fading Masks is available here on Vimeo, and curator Kate Bergdorf is working to make it available via the region's music stream. Haveit has also created an accompanying machinima, which is available here.

One of the two figures is a scribe, and we assume that the scrolls that surround the pair are his. The nonsensical text, which seems to be more a texture than something imbued with meaning, does have a small statement interwoven in tiny type: "Once upon a time, a ship ran around my mind, it sliced through my core and washed away my better judgment. Fragmented into islands the spirit ought to reassemble itself as before." Inside the circle of pillars that support the pair of figures, groups of circle dancers, wrapped by bee skin textures, dance in glowing light, while the people outside are likely those who "march with the like-minded." Whether coincidence or not, the scribe's right hand makes the American Sign Language gesture for "love." Haveit's creations always embraces a social justice perspective, this work no differently, though as to its precise meaning I'm uncertain.

[Edit: Haveit kindly said in response, "I so enjoy seeing the meanings people personally interpret. Yours is very close to what mine is, with some additions I hadn't thought of, and which I find a gift to hear! As for my simple intent, the two figures are actually the same person. The outer shell which is fading is the 'decent' mask one might portray to the public. As it fades, another raw side emerges. The written texture is indeed predominantly gibberish, with some lines here and there that can be read. The figures being covered in text and scrolls indicate the stories we tell ourselves, our beliefs. We are made up of our choice of stories, and for most of us, it is unlikely those perceptions will change in any dramatic way. I don't intend this as a negative critique of our personalities, but simply as an observation that our stories compose the architecture of our lives."]

Overhead, in the much smaller gallery space, is a display of fourteen images by the brilliant photographer Mich Michabo (images below). It's not easy to fully appreciate this artist's work by viewing individual photographs, as her work is often a stream of consciousness that flows from one image or set of images to the next. Her photos are often almost like random shots taken in a particular location, so that viewing a group of them helps us build a scene in our minds — in various images we might see a face, a knee, a kitchen sink, or a window, that invite us to generate a narrative. (As an example, view this image on flickr, taken on May 15, 2013, and proceed to the successive shots from that same day.) "I like to show emotion through faces, a chair leg and yes, even your shoe!" she remarks. (In addition to the shoe in the exhibition, this is a favorite of mine.)

As we spoke about the two installations, Kate remarked, "They somehow go well together — there is something raw about both of their styles." She and gallery co-organizer Tutsy Navarathna have already announced the full 2016 lineup for Berg by Nordan Art, with Igor Ballyhoo (installation) and Imani Nayar (photography) from April through June, Cica Ghost (installation) and Kyhiro (photography) from July through September, and Livio Korobase (installation) and ◦⊱ Mi ⊰◦ (photography) from October through December — follow Kate's blog for updates. Fading Masks and Simply Samples of Her Repertoire will remain on view through March 31.


  1. Thank you very much, Ziki, pleasure meeting you and Kinn today <3

  2. I appreciate this post and notices, Ziki. I've long been an admirer of Haveit's work and look forward to seeing this new installation. As a poet and (still novice) SL photographer, I am always learning and so admire the work of those who, like Mich Michabo, find new ways to express their vision.
    Thank you - and Happy New Year! May 2016 bring us more intriguing art and expression in SL - and in all the worlds there are!

  3. Kate, a pleasure to get to know you, and kudos to you for all you are doing.

    Thanks very much, Mireille, and happy new year to you, too!