The last time I visited MetaLES, the art region run by Romy Nayar and Ux Hax, it was to visit Romy’s brilliant Sparkys, which I wrote about here.
Since then, I’ve not really had a chance to drop in and see what’s going on, so when both Honour and Ziki poked me about a new celebratory installation there that had just opened (and which will remain open until August 13th, 2015) as a celebration of MetaLES and its support group, ..O.., I knew I’d had to pop along and take a look.
Distrito Disinto – or Different Districts, if you prefer, presents a concept that’s simple enough: the visitor is taken on a journey through a series of rooms, or “districts”, as if travelling through, or with, a festival. Within each room, an artist has established a setting inspired by a song, and in which the song and art are presented together. Simple in concept maybe, but beautifully intricate and delightfully imaginative in execution.
On arrival, visitors “purchase” a ticket (they’re actually free) from the box office. This delivers a teleport HUD (just grant it permission to act on your avatar when worn), and some introductory notes. Then all that’s required is to ensure local sounds enabled, as the audio isn’t streamed, but played in-world, and the region’s windlight is being used. Then it’s a case of clicking on one of the musical notes in the HUD under each of the artists’ names. For the sake of convenience, I took the destinations in their numerical order.
The artists who have actively contributed to the installation are Betty Tureaud (musical piece: She’s a Rainbow by the Rolling Stones); Giovanna Cerise (Innuendo by Queen); JadeYu Fhang (What Your Soul Sings by Massive Attack); Maya Paris (Oh, Bondage! Up Yours! by X-Ray Spex); Cica Ghost (Lullaby by The Cure); Rebeca Bashly (Chop Suey by System of a Down); Bryn Oh (Keep the Streets Empty for Me by Fever Ray); Romy Nayar (Nuit d’hiver (Chloé) by Mylène Farmer); Alpha Auer (Grid Factory by Alpha Auer); and Eupalinos Ugajin (Rockingchair by Estudio, Trabajo Y Fusil!).
Selavy Oh is also listed as a contributing artist, but there is no corresponding teleport option in the HUD. I assume this is because Selavy was unable to participate and the introductory note card was not updated.
To describe each of the pieces offered would be to negate the point of seeing them yourself. Suffice it to say that each offers an interesting interpretation on the subject matter of the chosen song, which ranges from the thought-provoking through to the light-hearted and witty, to some hints of pathos through to outright irreverence in the most wonderful of ways (who else could mix Oh Bondage, Up Yours!, Diana Rigg’s Mrs Emma Peel, Eartha Kitt’s Catwoman and flying saucers so brilliantly, than Maya Paris :) ).
However, and while I enjoyed all the pieces on offer through the installation, and really don’t want to appear as if I’m singling any out over the others (not the least because those who collaborated represent some of my favourite artists), I have to say I was particularly drawn to Alpha Auer’s Grid Factory. There is a nuanced beauty to this piece that’s suggestive of many things, and return visits have drawn me back to it perhaps just a little more than some of the other pieces here. Be sure to pick-up your Grid Factory avatar from Alpha when you visit.
I also confess to enjoying Bryn’s interpretation of Keep the Streets Empty for Me, which offers an interactive piece that’s best shared – thank you to Gem, Kate and Tutsy in joining me for a little house building – or is that house clearing?
Distrito Disinto is open through until August 13th – so go, enjoy!
- Distrito Disinto (Rated: Moderate)