3/20/15 3:04 PM
What happens when a church steeple lays down on the ground, end to end with a second steeple? When “bless” becomes a slick neon sign, does it retain holy sentiment? What is released when a dinner plate, a dozen dinner plates, is smashed against a stone wall? Gina Grafos takes structures, words, objects and images from common culture and tests them by making them perform in unexpected ways. Found plastic surgery photographs from the 1980s are overlaid atop educational cards from the 1940s; both lose their original expository function but gain new associations of surprising logic: to this viewer, at least, an ear tuck gives way to hearing political speech, while a tummy tuck reveals the ethical trouble of wearing fur. The solidity of identity and meaning is often taken for granted, but not here.