Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Alanis Angels at Alanis Gallery in Xaara

Alanis Gallery of Sensual Images in Xaara (formerly in Roissy) has always been one of my favorite places in Second Life. Not only do I enjoy the original artwork that is on display in the galleries, quite a few of which I have purchased to decorate the walls of my Art Room, but I have also been fascinated by the rather unique concept of "Living Art" that has come to symbolize the gallery for many people.

Alanis Angel near the Naiad Pool (2015)
This "Living Art" involves female or male avatars called "Alanis Angels" who pose as immobile (and sometimes mute) statues for the enjoyment of visitors to the sim, although many of the statues are free to RP with the guests. They are one of the most visible examples of organized objectification in SL, and as such are of interest to me and others who are fascinated by this area of BDSM, which is termed ODD (objectification/dehumanization/depersonalization).

Alanis Angels at the Gallery Foyer (2015)
According to Michiel Seetan, who owns the gallery with his partner Sylvia Fitzpatrick, they were approached in 2009 by someone who, along with some friends of hers, wanted to become an installation of human statues at the gallery.

The inspiration for the display was a quote from the Story of O, by Pauline Réage:

But even though they thus made use of O, and even though they used her in this way as a model, or the subject of a demonstration, not once did anyone ever speak to her directly. Was she then of stone or wax, or rather some creature from another world…

In her notice for the exhibition, Sylvia Fitzpatrick wrote that "Living Statues" is truly representative of submission, objectification, and commitment to Owner and Art.

Michiel adds that It is this statement made by the display, one which questions conventional sexual etiquette by pushing the values of D/s to their limit, that turns ‘Living Statues’ from being merely a thing of beauty into a work of Art. And it also makes it a perfect piece for Roissy because its ethic mirrors that of ‘The Story of O’.

Alanis Angel with marble skin
The exhibition was quite popular and evolved into the Alanis Angels, who became a permanent fixture in the Alanis Gallery landscape. At the beginning, they were chained to columns and wore marble skins and angel wings, but as time passed the Alanis Angels posed more and more often in their own skins, and many actively interacted with gallery guests.

Alanis Angels in central fountain with natural skins
When I asked Michiel whether there had been any public outcry to the objectificaion of people in the sim, he replied in the negative and noted that:

It's consensual and 

(a) all art involves objectification;

(b) lots of great art is about sexual objectification (for example

(c) many RL 'gallery artists' - such as Robert Mapplethorpe, Sam Taylor-Johnson and Nobuyoshi Araki - have specialised in sexual objectification. " 

Michiel with Alanis Angels
He ends by saying that:

What I like most about ‘Living Statues’ is that it wakens emotions that I know will be too primitive, too disturbing for some tastes. Here we have beautiful young women, totally enslaved and forced to pose whenever they are in SL for the pleasure of others. If the dark beauty of ‘Living Statues’ is not to your taste, look away. 

I should note that my personal introduction to Alanis Gallery and the Alanis Angels was sometime in January of 2013. I remember times spent sitting in the central fountain just watching and talking to the Angels up on their pedestals, and one time they even had an event where many Angels were posed on alcoves along one of the buildings. Linda, Tinka and some friends of mine like Serena were Alanis Angels at some point in their SL lives, and Linda's art is also quite visible in the gallery grounds even to this day.

Linda's statues at Alanis Gallery (2015)
Tinka in Angel outfit (2013)
Here are some more fascinating images of the Alanis Angels at Alanis Gallery of Sensual Images:


  1. Many thanks, MK, for your excellent article on Living Art at Alanis Gallery Sensual Images in Xaara.

    Here's the gallery SLURL for anyone who wants to pay us a visit:

    Best wishes,
    Sylvia Fitzpatrick and Michiel Seetan

  2. Thank you for giving me the information I needed to post it Michiel x