RA­CHEL ROSE

Numero Art - - La Une - An­dra Ur­su­ta EN

whose des­crip­tion of life in and af­ter ze­ro gra­vi­ty cra­ckles over trip­py, di­so­rien­ting vi­suals fil­med through li­quid in a buoyan­cy-trai­ning la­bo­ra­to­ry for as­tro­nauts. In the lus­cious ani­ma­tion Lake Val­ley (2016), a droo­ping pet, part rab­bit, part fox, part dog, es­capes a sub­ur­ban home for a fan­tas­ti­cal fo­rest col­la­ged from il­lus­tra­tions in 19th-cen­tu­ry chil­dren’s books. In Wil–o–wisp (2018), co-com­mis­sio­ned by Phi­la­del­phia Mu­seum of Art, Rose takes ano­ther turn: fil­med at Pli­moth Plan­ta­tion in Mas­sa­chu­setts, it evokes 16th-cen­tu­ry En­gland, a time when the ba­lance of po­wer was shif­ting in agra­rian so­cie­ties, and tra­di­tio­nal hea­lers were per­se­cu­ted for prac­tices consi­de­red out of step with a mo­der­ni­zing so­cie­ty. Bran­cu­si’s End­less Co­lumn as a shar­pe­ned spike in kin­ky rub­ber; clim­bing walls as­cen­ded using dick-sha­ped grips; a bas­ket­ball ma­chine conver­ted in­to a rock ca­ta­pult; a por­trait of the ar­tist, cru­shed by lo­vers’ se­men... New York-based An­dra Ur­su­ta’s sculp­tures broad­cast her dark, fuck-you hu­mour and a real sense of phy­si­cal vul­ne­ra­bi­li­ty. Her work main­tains a connec­tion to Ro­ma­nia, her mo­ther coun­try, both in at­mos­phe­rics and the evis­ce­ra­tion of na­tio­nal (and na­tio­na­list) myths. Va­nilla Isis, as she’s tit­led her Turin piece, sug­gests a bland mains­tream wing of Is­la­mic State. Cri­sis, threat and mi­gra­tion are frequent and keen­ly felt concerns in her work: her 2015 ex­hi­bi­tion The South Will Rise Again, sta­ged during the rise of right­wing po­pu­lism in Eu­rope, was pres­cient in its de­pic­tion of ag­gres­si­ve­ly mas­cu­line em­blems made car­too­nish and ri­di­cu­lous, er­go dan­ge­rous­ly ea­sy to dis­miss.

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