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Thursday, November 11, 2010


It's got to be more
Than flesh and bone

Tom Waits, Take it With Me

Art is not that which you stand before, and contemplate, so much as what you walk away with when you go.
The magic of the fable is in the knowing and the not knowing.
The self as a box: thinking about this side of you, that aspect of me; even in a photograph, so much of seeing depends upon believing, and the confusion that arises from concealment, and giving away. Better the view by effect, the secret unspoilt, the oblique glimpse, the action of the sun seen through shadows.

At the Scissor Forest, there is a Notecard. 
About the artist Igor Ballyhoo: In RL I have 4 pair of pants (2 pairs are cammo), 3 pair of boots, 4 pair of sneakers, 8 T shirts, 5 hoodies, 2 computers (both shit)  and lovely dog named Ripley.
Over the past 15 years or so, his real-life artistic career has been in photography, including 4 solo exibits and many group exhibitions in that dramatic, romantic, and often angry part of Eastern Europe that has seen too much sadness, where they speak a language that has no use for indefinite articles but a dozen words for dawn. Years like drawers, spiralling off into the infinite, supported and clambered after, stacked to the tipping point and yet never losing balance.
Real life informs his creation. It is baggage, guide, and companion in the many border crossings between street and screen; never indifferent, it leaves him laughing at fate, or railing at injustice and the provocation of tears.
Declarations of independence from the materialism of the prim economy are beaten back by notions of childhood, parenthood, and legacy. If his work is touched by the likes of Coelho, Eco, and Saint Exupéry, we find fragments of fables expanded according to Igor's idiosyncratic reading of them, as with his version of Foucault's pendulum, capable of pointing the way not so much to a place on the grid, as to a quadrant of the heart.
 His RL photography has more than a hint of the darkly surreal, as Mechanismus, his exhibition at Pirats, amply demonstrated.
Nor, again at Pirats, did the surreal ever seem more concrete than in a realistic subway station complete with trains, where shiny walls and grimy benches frame the memories and moments of a RL trip to Manhattan, and, for us, the city revisited through a shrewd and experienced photographer's eye, a mythical visit effortlessly posited within the avatar's grasp.
Pirats founders  Newbab Zsigmond and Merlina Rokocoko have seen it all, even his Uterus.
Merlina Rokocoko: What can I say about Igor. He is an artist able to bring life into inanimate things. With him, an empty street is filled with souls, a clock becomes a heart that beats, a music box memories of a lifetime. Through every medium he uses, he transforms a moment in an eternity. He reminds us that creation is the most natural act of being alive.
Igor has participated in dozens of exhibits and projects over the past two years, including How I  am connected to metaverse, GOD, Perpetuum mobili water, Eternity is watching you! and FreeWee Ling's Mutoscope project, which was honoured by The UWA earlier this year.
Jayjay Zifanwe: Igor is one whose artwork elevates the other works that surround it. He was the first to win the UWA 3D Art and Design Challenge Monthly round, back to back. His work is inspirational.
It's an oblique inspiration, in Jayjay's opinion.
Jayjay Zifanwe: I mean, he doesn't go around  personally encouraging people; there are a few like that, soror Nishi, etc. Igor inspires in a different way. His art speaks.
Igor won an important 'Message' award for his telling piece From green into red and into green again - a 'war machine' where the blood of soldiers feeds a press printing dollar bills.

Democracy,  not quite finished in this photo, was Igor's first work for the University of Texas San Antonio's art collection. When UTSA Art guru constructivIST Solo saw it, she was enchanted. Almost a year later, she remains a firm fan.
constructivIST Solo: The work of Igor Ballyhoo is unique. His creations stand out for the ideas and principles embodied, for their flawless execution, and the reactions they provoke in those who come to see his work.
She paused.
constructivIST Solo: doesn't really say it yet, I think...
  Politically charged pieces come as no surprise. They are current events seen through the prism of a war-torn childhood, and the twice-told tales of tragedy in the lives of family and friends. Yet, nothing in Igor's inventory suggests that kind of harping repetition that haunts the work of so many of his contemporaries.
Consider, for example, the fluidity of his Cybershark or the spermy Kunst der Fugue, both big winners at UWA and the subject of many of the submissions to their recent machinima competition.
That changable flow of inventiveness is fed by a stream of interaction across Second Life, made of famous romances, feuds, collaborations and firm friendships buoyed by that rarity, a love of other people's creativity; a spirit of generosity utterly without envy, so that a poem about the preciousness of time is rewarded with a tender hourglass, and much more.
Marjorie Fargis: I met Igor at an art show. Two days later, he gave me a sculpty brain to wear; ever since then, I've tried to use it in the best way I can, by appreciating his art. Every artist moves us to certain feelings. They are like flashes, lighting us up momentarily, only to quickly fade. Igor's works leave us with thoughts, ideas and deep reflections that never go away. 
Velazquez Bonetto: Igor Ballyhoo is best known for his wonderful sculpties installations and environments which are located around the metaverse. He is an artist with great social and political visions, and what for me very important, he is a very good friend.
Parallel renderings. Artistic acts of architecture, sculptures and instruments are part of a greater piece of performative art, the Life of the Artist as a man, virtually complete, part Alchemist, part Prince, part gypsy, part ghost, a life of light and shadows, of drama and sticking points as vivid and distinct as any work of art, upon which the observer may speculate and even flatter themselves to partially possess, only to discover that it's all a matter of electric perspective, the story told is as fragile and fickle as the pixels in which it is written, unreachably deep in the screen.
But here is the secret. All the endowed archives in the world can't match what really matters, the moment and the message. The connection, which is the best bit, the featherweight that never fades. So glad it's so light. I get to take it with me when I go.

1 comment:

sororNishi said...

One of our best artists I believe....