But is it Art?

by Alphaville Herald on 22/03/05 at 11:18 pm

by Budka Groshomme

At La Musee de la Crescent de L’ile de Montmarte are assembled an eclectic mix of objets d’arte spread over a couple of hundred square meters.

Curator Tayzia Abattoir seated before “Watching Smunks Watching” by Sato Moreau

The aesthetic sense of the museum at first seems both chaotic and catholic. There are serious works, trivial works, and some that defy classification by any ordinary critical standard. Some items are of somewhat dubious artistic value but have been accomplished with superb technical execution. Other items that may capture attention are cobbled together with little skill, but resonate at an emotional level.

Many are, simply stated, beautiful.

In an effort to capture why someone would assemble such a collection I interviewed the museum’s curator, Tayzia Abattoir.

Budka: Tayzia, can you start off by explaining the why of this place?
Tayzia: I wanted to do something in SL that was different, and to display the talents of other SL members. There are so many amazing artists here. Did you see the paintings? Much of the art hanging inside the museum is on websites, for sale by artists in RL.

Budka: There’s a lot here. How long have you been building it?
Tayzia: Since August of last year. At first, the museum was at Crescent, on my own land. Then I moved it here around the end of February, 2005. Montmarte is an art sim, dedicated to the arts and science.

Budka: How did you get the word out to the artists?
Tayzia: Forums, but mostly word of mouth. The Museum isn’t that well known yet, but I think, as word gets out, more people will come.

Budka: Now that you’re established, does the art come to you or are you still a seeker
Tayzia: Both. Mostly, they come to me, but I spend many hours scouring SL. I feel like a mooch sometimes, scouring and asking for donated art.

Budka: Since you began this project, how many exhibits have passed through your museum?
Tayzia: OMG! Many! In my inventory I’ve tons of art. It keeps me very busy, collecting, sorting, and displaying.

Budka: What’s your selection criteria for the “art?”
Tayzia: My criteria is simply anything built or created by SL members; that is, an original item built, painted, or created by them.

Budka: So you apply no critical filter?
Tayzia: No. I display anyone’s work and the exhibits change often.

Budka: Interesting. Where do you see this going?
Tayzia: Well, I will just continue searching SL for sculpture and art, and continue to display it with rotating exhibits, changing often, to bring people to Montmartre and see the amazing talents of SL members.

Budka: What’s the eventual payoff?
Tayzia: No payoff really. It is not for profit for me, however, people sometimes purchase their items from the artists.

Budka: Any other reason?
Tayzia: Well, I’m not really into the club thing or girl/guy relationship thing here, so I needed to do something to fulfill my game play, and this is it. It’s my baby and I plan to continue until I’m very, very old and can no longer type.

Budka: So, for you this is about self satisfaction?
Tayzia: Exactly! I just love displaying the art, more so, because I’m not that creative myself. The art amazes me, the way people can paint and sculpt, I can’t do it myself, so I’m amazed by their work.

Budka: Where do you get your pleasure out of the art – as a collector, or as a discoverer, or what?
Tayzia: As a displayer really

Budka: For the sake of the art in and of itself?
Tayzia: Yes, more than anything for the sake of art in and of itself. Like I said, I find it amazing.

Budka: Have there been any critics?
Tayzia: Oh yes, but just some controversial pieces that were in PG land; at my other place. It was just a couple of minor comments, but nothing causing trouble.

Budka: Has there been any controversy over something you’ve put in the museum?
Tayzia: I have some pieces that have criticized religious content. Some of my artists that donate do nudes on build contests.

Budka: No “Jesus in a Bottle of Piss” types of pieces?
Tayzia: No. I would actually do nothing that was in poor content of God or Jesus. Just my personal opinion. I think I’ve offended a few people.

Budka: Really?
Tayzia: Well, it’s my museum! [Laughs] *

As in RL, the question remains: Are these artifacts of the SL builder’s craft really art? Is this art for art’s sake, or is there a higher purpose being served by their creation and display? Has SL given to artists a new medium of expression, a new way to view the world and their place in it?

Perhaps someone, someday, will write learned theses on where the items in Tayzia’s collection stand in the continuum of artistic development of the 21st century. Perhaps an electronic archeologist of the future will scour data stores for traces of what the primitive SL artists were doing with their limited machines, their incomplete understanding of this new, electronic medium.

2 Responses to “But is it Art?”

  1. Urizenus

    Mar 23rd, 2005

    I don’t know why it *wouldn’t* be art. The medium is limited in a lot of ways, but still…

  2. Budka Groshomme

    Mar 23rd, 2005

    Hey Uri, I know art when I see it ;)

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