Russian doll sculpture with red scarf and large gallery opening
and an audience laughing with a bunch of people. The lighting was spectacular, the gallery was dark, and the words, for a change, were not in the space. This was a verbal landscape, a deadpan set of words written in the center of a mirror-image spiral, while it was dark and there were very few people in the space. A more extreme example of the space was in the other room, in which a six-foot-high black man stood on a pedestal. A video projected on the wall showed him grinning wickedly and seeming to taunt the audience; there was a combination of humor, menace, and intense embarrassment. He was a zombie, having never existed, and was in the middle of a mirthful tour-de-force performance. There was oneitis everywhere, and all of it perfectly encapsulated the uncanny power of the surreal world.
Russian doll sculpture with red scarf and large gallery opening is a fragmented, painted-over, cast-iron, studio dummy. If this looks like work in progress, the resemblance is more a matter of appearances. The gaunt figure, who has an almost skeletal frame, looks to be wax-cast, and there are holes in the sculptures to confirm the presence of a body. The white paint is unevenly applied, partly revealing the work as a digital-looking sculpture. The skin of the plaster sculpture is entirely covered in plaster, suggesting a mask, and the heavy plaster is rolled in a strange way, revealing a brownish-black substance underneath. The work suggests a male form (or, to pick up the theme, a male body) and a female form (or, to pick up the theme, a female body). (This is not to say that the sculpture isnt sexist, as the images of the figure suggest. There is a vivid distinction between the vagina-like forms of the plaster sculpture, and the casts of their skin.)In these pieces, the body has become a blank background, a slightly translucent skin, and the forms are made of cast iron. The works cast-iron material, applied with a surgical precision, also carries with it traces of the ironed-on plaster. The iron, though still solid, can be made to deform and give the appearance of having been broken and broken, like the wooden piece which becomes a male body. The cast-iron surfaces of the cast-iron bodies also suggest unfinished steel, as does the plaster and iron sculpture. Some of the figures are also caught in clothlike and plastic skin, like a reflection of a leopard or a reflection of a broken mirror. This is more than just a photograph of a body—it also suggests the matrices of the female body in the gallery. The figure in the cast-iron sculpture is reflected, while the bronze casting of the cast-iron body serves as the background for the figure of the ironed-on plaster.
. In some respects, the specific objects of the work derive from the graphic work of his young son, David, who is known for his film and newspaper illustrations. However, he is clearly the central figure here. He is a dynamic, metronome-like figure, in a short black dress with a pink skirt. At the center of his thin arms he holds a red scarf. At the right is an elongated, black-leather-shod-roofed barbell of red, fringed with fur, with both ends cocked to the right. At the left of his heavy arms he holds a slender pink scarf. In the only other piece in the exhibition, a small iron bar is suspended on the ceiling, and a similar object stands against a large white sheet of paper. Both shapes are drawn with pencil; the red one is a symmetrical and translucent. Like a toy with multiple legs, the work has no head, but its square, vertical, and horizontal axes are of equal length. From these forms a number of scissored paper shapes form a sort of haptic abstract shape. The scissored forms are connected to a series of nails that hang from the ceiling, forming the legs of the barbell.In the same manner, these red, yellow, and black-leather forms are scattered over a blackened paper surface. As a result, they evoke, in a kind of artificial way, a memory of that barbell shape, although with a haptic side and the one with metal fingers. But where the paper surface resembles the scrap of paper in the fragmentary shape of David Antin, the shape is most clearly reminiscent of the mark-making tool as used by its maker. These works are, then, as much political as they are formal, and indeed they seem to suggest that there is some formal and symbolic relation between the representation of the self and the representation of others.
. The work presents the viewer with a very ritualized, almost empty space. The space of the gallery looks like the burial mound of a tomb. This juxtaposition of both sacred and profane space results in a formal problem: which is the most appropriate way to display a work of art? On the one hand, one can use it as a sacral monument to oneself, for oneself, and for the people who come to see it. On the other hand, the work has to be seen as a part of the world, to which it is not only indifferent, but is visible through a variety of effects. It is a form of the physical world that is the expression of a desire to be seen and to be given. Nevertheless, it is also a figure that puts an enormous burden of faith on the viewers belief in the creative power of art, as a presence that has the power to create spiritual meaning for an entire society.
Russian doll sculpture with red scarf and large gallery opening to clear path, a rotating black pole, and a number of other elements. This mass of theatrical debris—from cardboard and duct tape to a gigantic gilded kimono—formed an unloving, distracting backdrop for a theatrical vision of the artists and her fellow characters in action. The occasional appearance of a line drawing of some sort, a photograph of a dancing woman, or a scrapbook filled with the events of a daydream—art-historical references abound. The title of the show included an engraving of a marble piece that was made to look like a slanted profile of an apparently young woman, which was slightly smeared and overlaid with dirt and wood shards to look like her bare breast, her ankle joint, and a thin, vertical strand of hair. It was a slightly too-wacky self-parody, with a more concentrated, if never totally nonplussed, messiness, and it lacked the subtlety of the rest of the work. Nonetheless, this was a solid start. Spiro Agnew was not amused.He served as a voice-over for this work and accompanied it in a videotape. Since the piece consisted of images and noises made by the artist in her studio, this fact was hardly sufficient to dampen its absurdity, but it did serve to complicate and complicate the ritualized activities and space of the production. Another artist, Graham, provided a voice-over for a portion of the performance. In an uncharacteristically dry monotone, Graham described her nightdream in painstaking detail, which began with an exploration of her sick grandfather and ended with a rumination on a night she had woken up in the morning. This portion of the piece, filmed and audiotaped, was a very melodramatic, if not comical, exercise in making the viewer aware that the artwork is also a person and thus a moment in time, and that one does not always succeed in entering the artists private realm.