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Pretty Baby | Off Space

Pretty Baby

Posted on September 14th, by admin in 2008, 2009, exhibit archive, Uncategorized. No Comments

Pretty Baby

OFFSpace’s inaugural exhibition at Art Engine Gallery in San Francisco, CA featured three artists playing with dolls- making them, becoming them or just watching them.







Sara Harrell-Lai, Victor Barbieri, and Goody-B. Wiseman  explored the margins of this childish pre-occupation exhibit works both playful and alarming.

Victor Barbieri’s ultra slow motion videos of young girls sleeping capture in vivid detail the childish, doll-like perfection embodied in his passive subjects. Visceral and engrossing, innocent and disturbing, these pieces elicit strong reactions. The subversive power of these gorgeous images puts a twist on the age-old relationship between the artist/viewer and the model/subject. Derived from her museum of a fictitious colony of feral children, Pentegoet Park: The Terrible Ones, Goody-B. Wiseman’s small bronze sculptures conjure dark places we’d rather not acknowledge—The Beastly Baby meets Aesop’s Fables. The museum of feral children documents the terrifying voyage of children living in a natural state of grace with their adoptive animal parents to their capture and horrible experiences of re-socialization. The feral children’s experiences stand in for all forms of oppression in our society with its mania for homogenization. These perfectly charming little ” collectables” immortalize the feral children from the back woods of Wiseman’s post-Gothic imagination. Sarah Harreld-Lai creates a frothy pink dream-life for herself as a doll. Collecting life-size doll-world accoutrements for herself and living the part, Harreld-Lai becomes her own play-thing. Large format digital photographs document this imaginary made manifest world thus turning Harreld-Lai into your play-thing as well. Referencing ideas of artistic persona, the real, and luxe toy catalogs, Harreld-Lai’s newest works perversely ride the line between oppressive normative expectations and celebration of the imaginative and playful impulse.

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