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Jade Walker’s psychoplasmics

Going into Jade Walker‘s Merriment at the new Big Medium Bay 10 Project Space (which, by the way, is a greatly welcome addition to Austin’s cultural spaces) I immediately
thought of David Cronenberg‘s Body Horror. But unlike Cronenberg’s Body
Horror, born of rage, violence, death or technological malaise;
Walker’s New Flesh creations seem to spring from some polymorphously
perverse cuddle instinct; a joyful approach to a mongrelized conception
of biology. These mutant bodies are happy and alive. Their eruptions of
undifferentiated flesh are somehow, paradoxically, gendered.
Specifically, Merriment reminds me of the psychoplasmics in
Cronenberg’s The Brood. Compare a still from that film with a shot of
Walker’s creations:
Jade Walker, Figure 1
A friend pointed out that Walker’s sculpture veers dangerously close to Bust Magazine Artist-of-the-Month territory, or perhaps an Austin
Craft Mafia
Overachiever. In other words, it’s certainly a path that
has been tread before. As Rachel Cook points out in her review of the
for the Austin Chronicle: "Walker’s work conjures up a slew of
images from the lineage of female
sculptors, such as Eva Hesse‘s circular, almost breastlike pieces to
the long drip shapes within Louise Bourgeois‘ work." I would add to
that list some of Judy Chicago‘s sculpture experiments:
Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party
Jade Walker, Figure 4

And in case you want to interact with Ms. Walker, she will give a small
artist talk at Women & Their Work, as part of their fantastic Show
& Tell: A digital slide jam
series, this coming Tuesday (March 18)
at 7:00 pm (other artists presenting their work are Robert Boland, Josh
Rios and Corkey Sinks).

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1 Response

  1. michael me

    It’s funny you should mention the movie “The Brood” in reference to Ms. Walker’s work as I too thought about strange externally grown organs and creepy creatures when I saw her show. The only difference is that Ms. Walker put it all together in a more palatable form. And for the record, I have to say that “The Brood” was hands down the scariest movie I saw when I was a kid. Those beaked children still creep into my nightmares from time to time.

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