A Place at the Table
I didn't know what to make of some of the less literal works. One giant print, Untitled #1 from Life Size and Other Lies Series, depicts a young blond girl sitting in a fifties kitchen. She wears a sly inscrutable smile and holds up a large spoon, ready to dig into a box of Frosted Flakes on the table. Visually, with the sea-foam-green and carnation-pink kitchen colors and her face as big as Tony the Tiger's, it's grrrrreat. But I can't figure out what the hell it means.
I also couldn't understand a piece called Brainstorm (Iraq War Memorial). The bloody mangled head of a doll sits atop a wooden stump inside a broken glass box with shards of glass and thick twisty wires protruding from it as if her thoughts had exploded. It's certainly violent, but I'm not sure how it relates to the Iraq War specifically.
Some more subtle but often more powerful works hide in little nooks around the exhibit. I fell in love with All Tied Up, a simple contour line drawing of two nude women bandaged to chairs. The use of bandages instead of ropes or chains suggests broken bones, with the chairs acting as splints; perhaps it's a sad image of the figures' symbiotic relationship to oppression. Like the rest of the exhibition, this piece is up for interpretation through Sunday, August 10.
[Review published August 2008]