Daantje Bons : A Unique Perspective on Femininity

Daantje Bons reimagines femininity in her own way with aesthetic images, humor and a sense of provocation in this rather distinctive exhibition at the Nitroglobus Gallery.

Note : Some of the images displayed at this exhibition may contain female nudity and themes of sexuality. Readers who find such images uncomfortable are advised to visit at their own discretion.

It is not often that one come across an exhibition so radically different and fresh that it leaves an impression on the mind for weeks. But the images displayed in “I Want To Show You Something” at the Nitroglobus Roof Gallery are unlike anything seen within Second Life recently. These images originate in the physical world – from the lens of Daantje Bons, a well-recognized Dutch photographer.

Daantje’s work is contemporary feminist and has received international acclaim. She has exhibited her images at various galleries across Europe. Her works have featured in several leading newspapers and magazines within Holland. Prominent outlets like “The Huffington Post”, “IGNANT”, “I-D Magazine”, VOGUE ITALIA, Kurier, FRAME Magazine and “Refinery29” have published her photographs as well.

Using Daantje’s images, Venus has created “light cubes” made of light reflections using projectors

Her photographs have been brought to the virtual world of Second Life by her best friend, Venus Adored in a most creative way. Using Daantje’s images, Venus has created “light cubes” made of light reflections using projectors. These cubes create an illusion of depth that works really well with Daantje’s still life photography.

Once you arrive at the Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, make sure you have the following settings right :

  1. Set your Viewer Graphics to Ultra
  2. Activate Advanced Lighting and Ambient Occlusion
  3. Set Shadows to Sun/Moon & Projectors

Please also use World > Environment > ‘Use Shared Environment’

These steps are absolutely crucial to get the best experience out of this exhibition. Some readers might be worried about the drop in FPS after shifting to Ultra Graphics but they can be assured that this change is not much since this gallery is located in a skybox on a homestead.

Daantje’s images draw out a whirlpool of emotions within us

The exhibition itself consists of a number of incredible light cubes prepared by Venus using Daantje’s images. Through her still life photographs, Daantje uses provocation and contradiction to make the viewer think deeply about the subject matter. She explores how certain objects and shapes are linked with the idea of sexuality. As we stroll through the gallery, we realize that Daantje’s images draw out a whirlpool of emotions within us.

It often starts with a feeling or observation. Something that makes me want to challenge it.

Daantje Bons

In her images, the artist makes use of soft pastel colors pleasantly contrasted by a dark red to make her statement. This brings about contradiction and variation, which makes a lasting impression on the viewer. Image composition, photography setup and lighting are the three pillars on which a still life photograph stands and Daantje does a splendid job with all of them.

Daantje uses everyday objects in her images to ask questions of sexuality, femininity and self-exploration. In “Vulva“, a chili is burst open carefully and arranged to resemble female genitalia; whereas in “Le Petit Four“, a juicy red berry is placed upon a nipple to cover its tip. None of Daantje’s images shy away from humor while asking questions of what it means to be a woman and how masculinity or femininity play a role in this. This underlying humor in each of the images makes these subjects more friendly and accessible to a larger audience.

The figure at the end of the road struggling with a boulder is symbolic of Nitro’s own fight against cancer

The unique layout and ambience of the Nitroglobus Roof Gallery, managed and owned by Dido Haas, adds to the experience. The entire floor of the gallery forms a “mirror”, something which is rarely simulated in Second Life. Dido also uses some incredible sculptures to enhance the atmosphere and appearance of the gallery.

Within a part of the exhibition, Dido has laid out one of the last installations created by Nitro Fireguard, her former partner and co-owner of the gallery, before he passed away in November 2015. The road in this installation represents people walking along the path of life treaded by all of us. At the end of the road we see Sisyphus, a figure from Greek mythology, struggling with a boulder, which is symbolic of Nitro’s own fight against cancer. Being one of the last things Nitro created, this installation holds a very special place in Dido’s heart and pays a fitting tribute to a great sculptor.

Some will be able to recognize this prominent sculpture at the end of the gallery from the 3D installation KHAOS

Another very prominent sculpture towards the other end of the gallery is one that was gifted to Dido by Jadeyu Fhang, which some might be able to recognize from her and Cherry Manga’s most famous 3D installation KHAOS.

The Nitroglobus Roof Gallery has presented some really unique exhibitions in the past such as the very recently seen American Shot and American Shot Part II by Milena Carbone. This exhibition of Daantje Bons’ photographs presented by Venus Adored as light cubes is no exception. It makes for an engaging and contemplative viewing experience.

“I Want To Show You Something” by Venus Adored is a curated exhibition of the works of Daantje Bons at the Nitroglobus Roof Gallery and is open for viewing till April 6th.

Click HERE to visit this exhibition inworld

You can also find the Nitroglobus Roof Gallery on FACEBOOK