Milena Carbone’s latest exhibition at the Nitroglobus Gallery takes inspiration from a play written by Jean-Paul Sartre while also bringing to the fore a remarkable minimalist style with soft tones and balanced composition.
Milena Carbone has returned to the Nitroglobus Gallery once again. After her previous exhibitions American Shot I & II, her latest exhibition is in a completely new style as opposed to her previous work, which sometimes used bits of RL as a medium. In No Exit however, Milena prefers to use Second Life as the sole medium through which she creates her art.
The name of the exhibition is derived from Jean-Paul Sartre’s famous existentialist play Huis Clos (No Exit, in English) depicting the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity. One of the big differences between this exhibition and many of Milena’s previous exhibits is that the images displayed on the walls of the Nitroglobus Gallery were not created specifically for an exhibition but were rather chosen by curator Dido Haas from the vast number of unpublished images Milena creates for herself.
One can see that two characters are common through all the images and this idea of the characters being trapped within was what led Milena to ponder over Jean-Paul Sartre’s play which toys with the concept of every human being someone else’s hell. With these ideas in mind, Milena’s images take on a whole new meaning.
Apart from fourteen images that hang on the walls of the main hall in the Nitroglobus Gallery, Milena has also created a box at the center of the exhibition space which has an opening when seen from outside, but when you enter, is revealed to have no exit. Thus, one is able to get the exact same experience of being trapped in a room with no way out like the three damned souls, Joseph Garcin, Inèz Serrano, and Estelle Rigault in Huis Clos.
Inside this box, one can find some text written in the words of Milena Carbone herself where she ponders over the decisions humanity has taken and the direction we are heading in today. We are one of the most powerful species on planet Earth and yet today, we are looking to colonize Mars, a dead planet, rather than taking care of our own. Beyond the Solar System, the next planet happens to be 41,000 billion km away and would take us roughly 234,000 years to reach even if we were equipped with a spacecraft that moves at a speed of 20,000 km per hour.
Milena thus argues that humanity is also looking for a way out of a room with no exit instead of living in harmony with the room itself. Jean-Paul Sartre’s words ring true even more inside Milena’s box – “L’enfer, c’est les autres” (“Hell is the others“). We are all the other of someone else, locked in an illusory room.
The artwork itself has a purity about it that is rarely seen. Created in a somewhat minimalist style with soft tones and a balanced composition, Milena’s work is an interesting mixture of styles right from the Golden Age to the realistic art of the 20th century. In some of the images, she uses the gaze of the character to form a direct connection with us, the viewers – a technique that was often used by some prominent masters in the past.
Milena also creates contrast in the image itself (The Invitation) or between two characters (For a Moment) to further enhance the effect the images have on viewers. What makes this exhibition extra special is that this might be Milena’s last exhibition in Second Life at least for a while due to some RL commitments. Our mood is always a bit somber when RL snatches away an inspiring artist like Milena from us but such is the nature of life and sometimes, it also allows the artist the space they need to grow.
We hope Milena returns soon to the world of Second Life soon with another fascinating exhibition; but before she goes away, “No Exit” is a beautiful gift she has left for her followers, supporters and art lovers, in general.
TELEPORT TO EXHIBITION
- Nitroglobus Roof Gallery – Sunshine Homestead
Tip : While you are here, please do visit Dido Haas’ personal exhibition – MINIMAL – next door!