Ne Me Quitte Pas by Canary Beck

Vanessa Blaylock at Canary Beck's photo exhibition

[10:47] Vanessa: oh, your exhibit just opened – congratulations on that
[10:48] Becky: Thank you – if you are there, there is a notecard in the sign that explains things
[10:49] Vanessa: yes, reading it now
[10:50] Vanessa: Gracie Kendal did an LEA AIR project a while back where she deleted her entire SL inventory… very different from your “bare white platform” images… but somehow I feel a sort of resonance…
[10:51] Becky: I remember reading about that
[10:51] Becky: I was so busy with the play at the time
[10:51] Vanessa: yes
[10:51] Becky: I really had blinders on
[10:51] Vanessa: we’re all always so busy! 😛
[10:51] Becky nods
[10:56] Vanessa: very sorry to hear about the trauma Becky 🙁 At least your photo series is sublime and beautiful 🙂 I think sometimes that’s the best you can do. When I was an undergrad there was this guy Ross – he was sort of savant-like… actually my friends and I thought he was this truly smart, gifted guy who had done way too many drugs… so his thoughts came out kind of fried often… but then he’d also drop these insightful, perceptive ideas that were just leveling in the simplicity of their deep power… anyway… the Rossism I remember the most was,

Sometimes art is just painful.

[10:57] Becky: That’s a good way of puttin git.
[10:57] Becky: putting it.
[10:57] Vanessa: haha
[10:57] Vanessa: I kind of like “puttin git” better
[10:57] Becky smiles
[10:59] Vanessa: all the images are beautiful Becky. I think the white backgrounds are the most compelling for me. Even though the black backgrounds are “blank” they still have a sort of framing or holding or context-ing quality to them… the white backgrounds seem very lost in limbo.
[11:00] Becky: interesting
[11:00] Becky: One thing I might do differently next time is put the black ones on a black wall and the white on a white wall. Have them floating is space more.
[11:01] Becky: I am going to move that exhibit to my sim when it finishes there
[11:03] Vanessa: the massive “overexposure” or high contrast I think is very powerful. I’m not that crazy about a lot of SL images because I feel that they’re too much. Too much color saturation. Which is both too “cartoony” in the SL-is-fake sense, and also even for RL pix, I think all that color is a distraction, it’s sort of too easy and maybe more importantly too specific. With these “out of gamma” images we can feel your raw humanity and your pain… yet it’s not so specific… which I think lets us be in the image, be in the experience, much more than “SL Technicolor”
[11:03] Becky: Thank you, that’s precisely what I was going for
[11:04] Becky: rawness
[11:04] Vanessa: yes
[11:04] Becky: too much colour would have made light of the emotion
[11:04] Vanessa: I think you’ve definitely achieved that

Vanessa Blaylock at Canary Beck's photo installation

[11:06] Becky: I’d be grateful if you’d write a post with some of what you’ve said here, in iRez, inviting people to visit?
[11:07] Vanessa: I do a lot of sepia and black and white in SL… and I add “film grain” most of the time… sometimes when I look at glorious images by someone like Strawberry Singh, I wonder about my “crappy images”… but for myself, I think that less is really more… again, I pretty much would say that for RL too, but I think it’s even more with SL where we’re only “half legitimate” people (in the eyes of many) and where the color is so often over the top — haha, funny that with a platform like Instagram RL peeps take “normal” pix and can make them hypersaturated!
[11:07] Vanessa: sure Becky, I’d be happy to
[11:07] Becky: You’re pov is different to any I’ve heard so far, so it would definitely add to what’s been written about it to date
[11:09] Vanessa: I might just reproduce our conversation, if that’s ok?
[11:09] Becky: Sure, that’s fine.
[[11:10] Becky: My aim was to keep it vague
[11:11] Becky: I would prefer for people to see their own emotions in these images
[11:11] Vanessa: yes, you did that… it’s very powerful… yet not tied to some-one/thing specific
[11:11] Becky: In the end all of these emotions are of our own making
[11:23] Vanessa: the photos are very powerful Becky, it’s “nice” to be able to take something so painful and make art out of it…. these may not be “memories of the good times,” but they are still memories of having lived and felt so intensely. It’s not pain we want to have, but it is a dramatic statement of being alive, or of alivefulness. All those butterfiles with straight pins shot through their bodies and exhibited in collections, they don’t feel any pain at all, because they’re dead.
[11:23] Becky nods
[11:24] Becky: Yeah. This is part of being human. I suppose it’s better to feel something over nothing at all.

Vanessa Blaylock at Canary Beck's photo installation

Canary Beck is exhibiting a series of reflective photographs called “Ne me quitte pas”, with each of the portraits titled with verses taken from the famous 1959 song by Belgian chansonnier (singer-songwriter) Jacques Brel (and in some cases, the English adaptation “If You Go Away”). The exhibition of 20 pictures will be held between November 20th, 2014 and January 10th, 2015 at The Arts & Culture Community (A&CC) at Wanderstill Ode

Canary Beck acts and directs immersive theatre productions in Second Life – including Romeo + Juliet and Paradise Lost in Second Life. When not performing or directing, she manages the Basilique at “Our Island” Region. She is currently hosting weekly chat salons aimed at exploring the human/avatar experience, and producing a feature length machinima based on Paradise Lost in Second Life, to be released in 2015. After a long break from publishing, she’ll soon resume writing and photographing her experiences on her blog: Canary

As a virtual public artist my work invites avatar communities to express their identity, explore their culture, and demand their civil rights.

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