3/07/10 2:35 PM
Our bodies are at once extremely common and endlessly strange, full of equal parts banality and mystery, limitation and possibility. In her deceptively simple line drawings of anonymous figures and parts of figures, Sara Berens hints at this duality. To do this she uses a minimal tool bag of holes and bandages and knots, alternately poking through and tying up the bodies she depicts. Sometimes the result is a picture of exploration, as when a cross-legged woman pokes her finger in a hole, testing its composition, while a second hole rests on the center of her back, waiting to be poked by someone else. Elsewhere the result is an image of restriction, as when two legs, jutting out of two holes, are joined by a length of bandage that binds their unseen wounds and limits their mobility. In their plainness, Berens’ drawings seem to function as directional pictograms, illustrations meant to explain a lesson to the viewer. The lesson here seems to be that bodies are far less straightforward than their familiarity might sometimes lead us to believe. A simple but strange truth told simply, as all strange things must be.