CATHY WILKES - Thru March11 at MOMA PS1, NY -
MoMA PS1 is now presenting the first monographic of Cathy Wilkes (Irish, b. 1966) in NY, showcasting about 50 works, offering a broad view of her work since 2004.
Across 7 galleries, works have plenty place to breath their symbolic presence, conceived mostly as a complex installation, playing out human precarious situations.Her works engages with the rituals of life,connecting the banalities of daily existence to larger archetypes of birth, marriage, child-rearing, and death. However, the home here evoked by re-used and consumed materials, is more on the verge of collapse, due to a growing physical and emotional loss. There’s a feeling of oncoming tragedy and desperation in the mysterious atmosphere evoked by these fraying baby blankets and bed sheets, chipped china and other household wares.
All are as residues of a aborted narration, fragments of a probable familiar tragedy. All seem like mummified,but by the care of a mother. It’s all about a domestic irretrievable desolation.
Avoiding any framing or supports of typical display, Wilkes emphasizes a direct interaction, inviting the viewer to get inside those uncanny visions, while wandering across those figures. This combination of the personal and universal parallels the meditation at the heart of her work, which is more as an exercise of empathy: by exposing to those disturbing situations evoked by her works, can unexpectedly activate the unconscious of deeply subjective experiences. In Wilkes’s practice, the process through which art transforms the commonplace has less to do with modern readymade than with more ancient systems of magical belief. “All objects can become transcendental,” she noted, and there is “no need for someone to fully understand.” Wilkes’s art is approached as a a private world, that nevertheless evokes common instabilities and human vulnerabilities recognizable by everyone @momaps1
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