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Sunday, April 01, 2007

Jude Tallichet @ Sarah Meltzer

Jude Tallichet opened a solo show last night at Sarah Meltzer Gallery. The installation consists mostly of cast bronze baked goods and a wall print of butterfly images. "Save it for Me" is an opulent dream-scape, where preciousness and gravity of bronze are contradicted by prosaic subject matter.

What I found most interesting is the tension between sacred and profane: the altar- like table, bread, the shining decorative metal make one think of religious worship. On the other hand the pile-ups, random groupings of objects and rough details speak of disorder, abandonment and chaos. I think this absurd duality is what gives the show its dream like, disturbing presence. The installation is really strong, a must see...

a fragment from the press release:

Laden with anxiety,
Save it for me depicts a feast, a ritual celebration of uninhibited self-indulgence and wonder. A bronze table yields to the weight of an excessive pile of bread. Cakes, muffins and champagne bottles are scattered throughout and candles drip incessantly into puddles of wax. Feasts punctuate the cultural moment of all societies, providing sustenance and pleasure on the one hand while reinforcing inequality, indifference and excess on the other. Thanksgiving, Passover Seder and Roman Bacchanals, to name a few, are social phenomenon that elucidate this dialectic and ultimately perform a demonstration of power.

Bronze has a long history of use in the creation of monuments and is itself a challenging signifier of value and prominence. The tactility of the objects caste and their temporality as sources of sustenance or of light, generate an aura. Part tombstone and part monument, the components of Tallichet's installation conjure a still life of decadent proportions and ominous connotations. Punctuating the stillness of the moment is the suggested buzz of swarms of insects that are represented in repeating columns on wallpaper.

Tallichet pays lavish attention to the symbolism of inanimate subject matter. Save it for me continues an exploration of tropes and iconography in preserved objects, referring to the banquet or feast, to the act of hording or stockpiling, dueling systems, and ultimately, excess. Save it for me borders on Memento mori, a symbolic reminder of our impermanence.

Image below: Matt Freedman's embroidered shoes (not a part of the installation ;)


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