The place between: The Taint. Our next exhibition coincides with the 2016 presidential election as well as Halloween. Combining these two moments, between October 15 and November 8th the work presented at EWS engages politically. “Taint” plays as the title of the exhibit with work by Jo Boyer and Marcel Alcala with an installation by EWS.
Each artist identifies as queer with a neutrality of gender stereotypes in their physical presentation both to their communities and our greater society. The work they create speaks to facades of formality and any binary gender roles.
Jo Boyer builds with porcelain creating vessels with cavernous hiding spaces hung like reliefs on the wall opposed to freestanding. Their bats are dangling, looming over the gallery, bringing an auspicious capitalism; as the Chinese understand five bats signify prosperity, health and luck. Penetrating air plants burst from the openings of the ‘pods’ and anatomically correct black porcelain hearts. The porcelain becomes a home. The growing Tillandsia thrives in habitats that are not meant to be homes. Sculptures of their sleeping bats hang erratically in corners of the gallery bringing a nocturnal character, hungry for blood, possibly rabid, however quietly watching with a menacing surveillance. As the bat references both fortune and medieval darkness, a viewers’ perception once again becomes skewed based on appearances.
Marcel’s work is gestural, patterned and sometimes crude. Figurative paintings depicting male nudes with penetrating arrowhead or snakelike members expose themselves in a wild, colorful jungle like setting. Many characters don 'female' accessories. The childish glyph-like emoticon faces feign emotion and serve as masks for the beings. With added text and symbols, Marcel visually addresses privacy, attraction, mystery, and classism. The figure’ interactions portray American capitalism acknowledging and destabilizing white privilege. They also regularly perform activist spoken-word made-up as a clown. Marcel is further known for founding “McPoems”, a take-over poetry experience at McDonald franchises in Chicago & LA.
Each artist’s work is displayed with a 6ft gummy candy python almost slithering on the floor, in an unnatural habitat of a white cube. The candy represents a false reality between sweet excessive intake and menacing appearance of a dangerous evil constrictor from biblical parables. The snake is ready for a bite of Halloween consumption—a trick or treat of sorts, condoning excessive consumerism.
This tainted red monstrous candy, contained in a terrarium like-space that is between many worlds of gender, between that which is cavernous and that which protrudes, living and dead, fake and real, appearances and reality. Hoping to bring a viewer thoughts of what ‘taint. Artificial pretenses placate moments of reality through Halloween. The election presents candidates in bipartisan roles, which taint altruism, promote sexism, and which are tainted with accusations of corruption. This election champions American excess and superficial statements costuming reality. Here lies the fine line between a male and female candidate that just “Taint.”