The Lost Gardens of Apollo: Intersections in Space, Mythology and Masculinity
Faculty of Education and Arts
School of Communications and Arts / Centre for Research in Entertainment, Arts, Technology, Education and Communications
The three dimensional virtual environment of Second Life is a platform that contains various spaces that are devoted to escapism through the screen. The Lost Gardens of Apollo is one such region that conjures traditional Western notions of paradise, readily evoking the Mediterranean and its associated mythologies, particularly that of Ancient Greece. Paradoxical to the ideas of corporeal escapism however, there is a reaffirmation of the lived conditions of Western culture, particularly that which positions identity within late-capitalism, hyper-consumerism and a body-centric individualism. The overt mythological representation of Apollo is grounded in the Ancient Grecian ideal of masculinity, male beauty and privilege, and the potential for subversive male-centred sexuality. This potential for subversion however, supports a tension on Apollo that negotiates between an open and proud homosexual identification and one that is hidden, codified in the consumerist practices of the late capitalist Western world.