Gazira Babeli: Collateral Damage - a comprehensive survey of works from 2006-2007
location: Odyssey (38,30,23)
FROM THE PRESS RELEASE:
On April 16th 2007, the ExhibitA gallery on the Odyssey simulator within the online virtual world called Second Life™, will present the first comprehensive look at the pioneering work of Gazira Babeli. Gazira Babeli is an artist creating works within Second Life and a member of Second Front - the first performance art group in Second Life. Gazira labels herself a “code performer” and indeed the code is at the heart of her work, tying it to the system at a deep level and reaching out to the viewer in ways that inherent to the SL platform. Her pieces are alive with scripts created using the Linden scripting language – a core component of Second Life. A Campbells soup can that is a trap, and a self proclaimed menace disguised as pop art, encases the viewer and takes him on a ride proclaiming “you love pop art, pop art hates you” until the unsuspecting avatar manages to run fast enough to escape. The sky filled with question marks, a vengeful tornado, these are a few of Gaz's signature works that can be seen on her site: gazirababeli.com. In the spirit of opensource - Gazira has licensed much of her code via creative commons, and you can download it for your own use on her site: gazirababeli.com.
Following are some press excerpts regarding Gazira Babeli:
"Born in Second Life on 31st March 2006, *Gazira Babeli* (http://www.gazirababeli.com/) is an artist who turns the performativity of the code into performance itself. Weedy and flexuous in her long black dress which covers fashionably her polygonal haunches, Gazira radiates a strange charm that makes her somebody in between a Voodoo witch and an X-men heroine. Her charm that becomes even more evident during her masterful performances, in which she activates scripts as if they were spells, makes earthquakes happens, provokes natural fatalities and invasions of pop icons (in the place of the biblical locusts). Gazira Babeli is NOT the project of an artist who works in Second Life. She IS an artist, who makes, records and signs performances based on code. She is real, like you and me, even if her action platform is a world of bits."
- Domenico Quaranta 2006-12-02
"Linden Labs is a Fluxus-Project", jokes Gazira Babeli, the pizza-throwing Second-Life-Artist and makes a reference to the Slogan of Linden Labs. "Your World. Your Imagination". This is a indication for the fact, that in the metaverse art and life are connected as far like the fluxus-artist would have wanted to, she remarks ironically.
Gazira Babeli is one of the few artists, who has created works, which are subversively inflitrating the friendly environment of cyber-suburbia SL.
- Kunstzeitung March 2007
We keep forgetting that what we call Real Life has been a virtual frame for a long time. Second Life offers the chance to build and deconstruct this space in the form of a theatre performance. What's the difference? I'm trying to find out. For the moment I like to say: my body can walk barefoot, but my avatar needs Prada shoes.
March 23, 2007Interview with Gazira Babeli by Tilman Baumgärtelhttp://www.turbulence.org/blog/archives/003987.html_
Gazira: To realize an “artistic” or “aesthetic” experience, it requires a frame-space that is contemporarily physical and conceptual; it could be a frame, a museum, a computer network, a bedroom... or just a plain box 'dressed' like a RL art-galley. This referential "cube gallery" reminds me of the ironical artwork made by Marcel Duchamp called "Box in a valise" (Boîte-en-valise, 1942) Although the "box gallery" could be a valid expression, I prefer thinking the whole SL environment as (a kind of) frame-space. It means that scripted and built objects, avatar-people and their behaviors become essentially parts of the artwork...a "world in a valise", in this case. :)
Interview with Jeremy Turner (Wirxli Flimflam) for Slatenight magazinehttp://www.slatenight.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=143