TOMORROW!!!!! Opening reception/performance Saturday May 5th 6-9pm slt!!

The Lost Generation meets ‘Midnight in Paris’ meets ‘Downton Abbey’ meets Second Life…

Join me this Saturday May 5th, 2012 6-9pm slt
for my mixed reality opening and performance in Los Angeles and SL simultaneously!!

Gallery 825/Los Angeles Art Association
825 N La CIenega
Los Angeles Ca 90069

Hope to see you here or there!!!

~Gracie Kendal/Kristine Schomaker

About the show/Artist Statement:

Avatar /avə-tär/
1. Chiefly Hinduism- a manifestation of a deity or released soul in bodily form on earth; an incarnate divine teacher.
2. An embodiment or personification, as of a principle, attitude, or view of life.
3. An icon or figure representing a particular person in a computer game, Internet forum, etc.

Using installation, text, photography, video and performance I explore notions of online identity specifically the construction of avatars, the community they inhabit and the blurring of digital media and the physical world. My work focuses on the complex social and cultural conventions that determine our identity. The avatar becomes a vehicle for personal and public reflection.

In these portraits, taken within the online 3D virtual world of Second Life, I explore the representation of the avatar as a construct, distinct from any traditional notion of the ‘self’. I examine the sitter’s identity and probe below the avatar surface to reveal and comment upon their character, personality and their diversity.

The subjects are neither simulacra, nor characters in a game; they are individual people- complete and complex identities with defined social roles.

How do avatars question and expose commonly held assumptions about stereotypes, judgment, self-awareness and those marginalized by race, gender, sexual preference and physical appearance?

How do these digital bodies open up new worlds, new politics, new communities and new realities?

In the 1920’s, artists were drawn to Paris for the promise of freedom. They formed an artistic community that became a haven where they could be themselves and follow their passions.

Fast forward 90 years and cyberspace has become the new artistic community. Like Montparnasse in the 1920s, artists flock to the virtual world of Second Life to thrive in the creative, imaginative atmosphere where anything is possible.

Second Life in the early 21st century is fulfilling the promise of inspiration, innovation and experimentation just as Paris did in the early 20th century. A new art community has been created- a lost generation of sorts, where expatriates from the real world gather looking for artistic, intellectual, political, racial and sexual freedom.

Like Duchamp’s Rrose Selavy, identity can be re-created to allow alter-egos to emerge. Pseudonyms and “otherness” become prevalent forms of identification.

This current installation and performance is informed by years of research on avatars, social community and art collectives- such as Gertrude Stein’s salons in Paris. I have also been profoundly influenced by the performance art of Marina Abramovic, and by artists Cindy Sherman, Hannah Wilke, Eleanor Antin, Yasumasa Morimura and Lynn Hershmann who work with the construction of identity, transformation and the nature of representation.

Kristine Schomaker/Gracie Kendal

One Comment on “TOMORROW!!!!! Opening reception/performance Saturday May 5th 6-9pm slt!!”

  1. I´ll be sleeping then 😦

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