This is a short reflection on the exhibition, Abject Permanence by Allison Baker running Sept 10-Oct 22, 2022 at Dreamsong, 1237 4th St NE, Minneapolis MN 55413 (Open Wed-Sat 12-5pm). The format of this reflection is a single sentence per image. This content is also available as a printed zine.Because of its somewhat hidden placement, the grotesque neon glue, and crooked sharp seams, my favorite moment in the show was this cup that seemed to be barely holding itself together after having had a hold drilled in it.
The cup was located near the bottom of Bookcase and required looking past the tempting tactility of the glove at eye-level, and kneeling down to see what that neon orange was about – barely peaked out from beneath leaves that seemed to be rendered with care.
These colorful work-gloves appeared in several of the sculptures, and sometimes as a stand-alone object, which felt fitting as a key element of the visual language the artist is playing with.
Looking at the varied surfaces in the exhibition, this phrase from the written materials felt most resonant: “What we covet and possess absorbs and manifests anxiety.”
The moments where the visual references were most open to interpretation drew me in, as in The Gate of the Rose [detail pictured here] or Cactus [pictured below from three different angles].
I closely examined the translucent quality of many of the sculptural vegetation forms, which ranged from precise castings to more exaggerated cartoon-like forms.
I almost missed Rotten Fruit located in the back corner of the back room, and was glad the gallery sitter pointed it out to me because I enjoyed how it seemed to contrast the rest of the objects, with its lack of saturated colors and small scale, quietly amplifying the bulbous forms found elsewhere in the space.
While there were also collaged drawings and video work, the sculptures drew me in the most with their sheer color, scale, texture, and contrast.
Disclosure: I briefly met the artist at two different opening receptions in spring 2022 when I was directing the MFA program at MCAD, and invited her to serve as a mentor.