June 16, 2007

Second Life Sculpture - Engine of Creation

- by Magellan Egoyan

As one of the main bloggers on this site, Rezago Kokorin doesn't get a lot of attention for his own work. He spends a good deal of his time organizing and presenting the work of other people. I intend to redress this situation in a small way. While working with Rez on a first of a series of video clips I am putting together on Second Life artists (this first one, presenting the artistry of Rezago himself, has just been posted on youTube under my "mageEgo" username), I developed a deeper appreciation for some of what goes into his work. In the preparation for the video, I asked Rezago to present three pieces to the audience of his choice and to talk about the work in his terms - in this way, I hoped the video would give us a kind of "Rezago's view of Rezago". Here, however, I intend to indulge myself, by talking about pieces of his that I am particularly partial too, and about my own perceptions of his work!

Interestingly, in the video interview, the emotional aspects of Rezago's work were not highlighted (a situation I will not let happen again!). We focused instead on its abstract qualities. However, it is the emotional power of his work that first speaks to us. This is no where more evident than in his sculpture called "Engines of Creation", featured at the recent exhibition of kinetic sculptures at the VAA site. Here we see an almost organic movement of rounded shapes that make one think of orbital dynamics and planets in movement, even though the shapes are not, for the most part, spherical. The sculpture expresses a kind of heaviness, a subterranean power, that reaches through the limitations of our Second Life experience and touches something deeply buried in our own body sense. I believe this ability to reach into our own innards is part of what makes Rezago's sculptures so compelling.

Another sculpture, also at the exhibition, was "Dancing Eels" (this one is shown briefly in the video clip). The sinuous movement of the eels speaks again to our bodily sense of movement, although this one expresses a much more flirtatious energy with a very dance-like feel to it, another aptly named sculpture. The fluidity of the movement of the eels is also striking and entrancing.

The sculpture from the exhibition that is most present in the video is "Science and Industry". Again, although the video gives a sense of the power of the sculpture, we did not discuss the aesthetic impact of the piece. Although perhaps more abstract than the other two I have discussed here, the mixture of rotating flexes and rotating textures within a solid frame creates a tension which is almost palpable, and there is a solidity to the piece that is highlighted by Rezago's comments regarding how robust the sculpture is towards movement and manipulation.

I was also very taken by Rezago's SL home - an elegant, airy structure filled with works of art, for the most part created by others that he has collected over time. Knowing that his RL home is in Colorado somehow helps explain the alpine sparseness and simplicity one finds in this space. In some ways, Rezago's activities constitute a kind of sculpture with matter in motion, just as Pandora Wake's work, on which I reported before, is concerned with light, and elros Tuominen's with grace. Even Rezago's immobile works have an inherent movement to them.

In addition to his engagement with a variety of communities in Second Life, an indication of how generous Rezago is with his time and expertise, he is clearly engaged in the production of a substantive body of work at the forefront of current artistic development in the hybrid world of Second Life. He is hence very much himself an "engine of creation". And a delightful person to get to know.

However, he is entirely too modest about his own achievements.

Not to be missed!

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