It’s always the nights where you just slap a few things on that you end up going out, right? So there I was between outfits (bald and barefoot doesn’t begin to cover it) when Morgana Nagorski sent me an invite to the opening of an exhibit at the Palais Orleans Gallery. It wasn’t just the exhibit that was opening — it was the first exhibit in the reborn gallery, and the first that Morgana is running as sole proprietress. So what could I do? I threw on the first folder I could find and went…
(More about the show behind the cut, including a teasing hint of artwork and a chat with the curator!)
The show, entitled “Aftermath,” is one of those addictive ones where all of the pictures look illustrative and intriguing and tell dark visual tales. Instead of being created by just one artist, it was created by two — a Second Life couple, Fingers Scintilla and ariel Brearly. Their vision is dystopian, and their execution is precise and multi-layered. There isn’t much neon or pink, but then the theme of the show is post-apocalyptic, after all… Fingers and ariel were so thematically on-target that it was hard for me to distinguish between them, and this was encouraged by Morgana.
“I’ve planned to run the gallery by choosing two artists and asking them to come up with a theme together,” Morgana said, “and hang them intermingled, not divide them into separate artists.”
I’m used to seeing dystopia in Second Life, but I adored how it was envisioned by these two artists. They use prose-poems instead of an artist’s statement to describe their work, which helps to draw in gallery viewers with a fluid invitation to begin the storytelling process continued in the artwork:
“After the explosions, the few survivors were taken by surprise as the dust began to fall, silently and endlessly, choking everything in its path. Slowly the few evolved, surviving on rage and fear, fighting for everything they possessed. Until finally, – there was just One…”
It’s a unique approach, but it absolutely works, and I could see the energy of the artists building off of each other as they worked around their joint theme.
I spoke to Morgana a bit about the history of the gallery, and how she put it all together.
“This gallery has a proud history. It’s been around for three years,” Morgana said. “The previous owner, madison Arnahan, originally asked me to exhibit my work here. While my work was under way, she asked if I’d like to be her curator. I didn’t have much time to put together a show, but while my own work was showing, I built a show around the theme of interpreting Leonard Cohen’s work.”
This show turned out to be extremely successful, with twenty artists and almost a thousand people attending. Based on this success, when the first owner decided to retire, she asked Morgana if she’d like to take over the gallery.
“I redid the build a little, especially the garden and landscape. I also renamed it from Palais Orleans Art Studio and Designs to Palais Orleans Gallery. But I want to continue with its history.”
Morgana’s own work is on display in the gallery’s garden, and will be ever-changing.
Her vision for the gallery’s future seems extremely fruitful, and I’ll absolutely be keeping my eye on future installations!