“AVATAR the new you”
5 September – 4 October 2008
Australian Centre for Photography
257 Oxford Street Paddington NSW 2021
Pic: Daniel Handal “Anita and Pink Wall” 2006
MYFANWY ASHMORE (CANADA), ARAM BARTHOLL (GERMANY), TOBIAS BERNSTRUP (SWEDEN), ZENG HAN & YANG CHANGHONG (CHINA), DANIEL HANDAL (USA), CLAUDIA HART (USA), CEES-JAN KIEWIET / WYRIHAXIMUS (NETHERLANDS), DAVID MELÉNDEZ (MEXICO), STEVE MILLER / ARAHAN CLAVEAU (UK), MELISSA RAMOS & , RHYS TURNER (AUSTRALIA), JUSTIN SHOULDER (AUSTRALIA) TALE OF TALES GAME DESIGN FORUM (BELGIUM). CURATED BY MALCOLM SMITH
The original Avatars came from Indian mythology; they were the bodies the Gods used when they chose to walk upon the earth. Today the term Avatar is more commonly associated with the graphical action figures we use when we play games in online worlds. Like virtual alter-egos, our avatars can be whoever we want them to be; musclebound commandos, lithe blood elves, penguins or Pokemon. If you are on Facebook, Myspace, a dating site or if you can Google yourself, you have a virtual identity. As more and more of our time is spent online; socialising, conducting business, broadcasting our opinions or looking for love; the way we are perceived there is becoming as important as in real life. Avatars are more than a puppet or a plaything; they are the new you. The artists in this exhibition are inspired by Popular Culture rather than High Art, through games such as World of Warcraft or Half Life, virtual environments such as Second Life or the Sims, or content sharing sites such as Flickr, and Youtube. They question conventional attitudes towards gender, spirituality, violence, technology,sexualitt and identity, examining how these issues have been transformed by online technologies.