mercoledì 1 luglio 2009

Patricia Waller, sadomaso all'uncinetto

Sado/Maso: Yarn, polystyrene, wire, wood; crochet, 10 parts, size variable; 2000

Patricia Waller’s career has grown steadily over the years. Today she’s a consummate artist still living in Karlsruhe, Germany where her first solo show some sixteen years ago began to provoke interest in her work.
It is a divine gift when an artist has an intense identification with a theme, a technique or a specific material. Or perhaps it stems from an artistic instinct. Either way, Patricia Waller picked up her woolen yarn and crochet needles early on. Can we, therefore, add her to an elaborate list of a multitude of women artists who use clothing and needlework or recreate a multi-faceted feminine world?

Exhibition at Gallery Deschler until 25/07/2009
Patricia Waller calls her new exhibition „Bad Luck“. Bad luck in-
deed! The falling flower pot struck an unsuspecting head, a dog
got his head stuck in a food can, another one was flattened by an
oversized bone. But not all of the objects depict cases of merely
passive bad luck, a lot exhibit a very active malice: Miss Piggy
stuck in the meat grinder, Bambi hacked to pieces, Bugs Bunny
speared by an enormous fork, Tweety in the soup, the cut-off
thumbs of thumb-sucker Conrad. The figures in these works –
anthropomorphized animals – span a historic selection, from fairy
tales to the 19th-century Struwwelpeter (Slovenly Peter) and fur-
ther to modern comics and Disney creatures. All, however, experi-
ence violence, and a lot of blood is shed. Waller’s crocheted fig-
ures raise discomforting questions regarding the way our society
deals with violence: the violence we experience, the violence we
exert, and the violence we love to consume. The viewer is torn
between malevolent gloating over the misfortunes of others and
empathy, between the pleasures of destruction – who hasn’t
wished for the wolf to finally devour Little Red Riding Hood? – and
compassion for these symbols of the helplessness we all experi-
ence in the face of destiny. The nature of the depicted violence as
internal and controlled by our drives is indicated by the impassive
faces of the tortured creatures. Like in comic strips and cartoons,
they rise again in a Sisyphus-like manner after each catastrophe,
only to face the next inevitable disaster, pitilessly to the tune of
that old maxim: “The show must go on.”


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