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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Collected at the borderline

C'mon and get your rubber ducks...
Are you one of us?
Broken Bells, The High Road
ChapTer Kronfeld wears old fashioned 3D glasses and has a voice like a Viennese coffeeshop, rich and  velvety and bewildering, especially if, like me, your only knowledge of German involves ordering extra cream with your strudel. And no, that isn't a euphemism. You partially saw his work at Asmita Duranjaya's East/West build, and in the photos for Here be dragons *shakes fist at TPVs*. This time there's no doubt, at Virtual Cologne, we're treated to the full effect of his RL drawings and paintings, and at the vernissage, we got to hear him recite some of his original poetry too.
The gallery, inside an anonymous looking post-war concrete building, has a surprisingly purple interior studded with about fifty pencil compositions, halfway between doodles and sketches, curated under the title "Reales in einer Welt aus Pixel" at Virtual Cologne, or Virtuelles Koeln as they call it nowadays (has the umlaut been retired? where was the memo?). ChapTer's art is a chronicling of the creativity of a no-man's-land between conscious and subconscious thought, and so it's most appropriate that his exhibition should be on a sim that explores all those 'place non-place' tropes. The brainchild of Annie Milestone, Virtual Koeln is home to a painstaking recreation of Cologne Cathedral, complete with authorized reproduction of Gerhard Richter's Symphony of Light stained glass window (unveiled in real life on August 19th 2007, and installed in the Second Life version just two days later. *pauses to allow for Teutonic stereotype mental comments*)

The line between real and virtual is extremely thin here; reinvigorated by new and enthusiastic group members, the sim, which features a German-language Newbie training area, is working on plans to host a number of shows by Cologne-based artists (the city is home to more art galleries than practically any other town of its size in the world) as well as international SL art.  Anne was immensely impressed by Chapter's art which she described as 'superinteressant', and showed me her favourite picture, a leg-challenged lady.
Annie Milestone: The title is:'On these stones' Chap says it's a picture of a woman with a dislocated hip, I think it's remarkable how he captured her pain.
The opening was brilliant. Chap led us around the room, sharing verses in voice in what Yoku Tison, who runs the gallery, and sports the titian tresses you see here, called a poetry slam. I learnt a new word, schmunzeln, which LMGTFY says is "smiling quietly to yourself". There was a man wearing knickerbockers and a stocking cap. The name Wilhelm Busch was being thrown around. People said stuff like "Heino hatte noch die Frage glaub Wer ist "ich". (Being a beginner, I was still on 'Wer is Heino', so i kept schtum. Is that a word?)
Yoku Tison sees Chapter's art as a conduit between realities,  a playful attempt to, as he puts it, 'percolate the borderline imposed since we lost paradise'.
Yoku Tison: My favourite picture is one of the surrealistic line plays on the first floor that showed the little princess on the left hand. I like it because it is something I also found in the works of Max Ernst; do you know what the little bird means in the pictures from Max Ernst? Ask yourself what the little princess should mean in the picture I liked most. When Max Ernst was just a boy, his sister died. On the same day, the bird they had at home suddenly disappeared, and young Max thought it was the bird that take his sissy away from him.

It's another voice, another accent, another world. I always sing 'rubber ducks', not 'overdose'; try it.
See ChapTer Kronfeld's exhibition at Virtuelle Koeln (including new works, added almost daily) through the end of February.


Thirza Ember said...

Photos of me mocking German noobs were suppressed.

Anonymous said...

ty Thirza,

its a well researched article, amusing and humorous.

although the shots are good. you are a talented photographer.


ChapTer Kronfeld said...

Tirza, thank you for your compliments on this article :-)

Anonymous said...

@all - we will have the finissage of Chaps exhibition with some live music tomorrow, Friday March 16th 2012, 12pm PST at the gallery Kunsthalle am Wallrafplatz, Virtuelles Koeln