3/19/15 7:12 PM
The founding myth of Rome is a tale of a she-wolf and two heroic brothers, Romulus and Remus, who fought to the death. But there is more than one way to tell a story. In an installation of paintings, sculptures and video, Jennifer Baker uses ponderous forms and pungent materials to create a tormented memorial to the men’s mother, a vestal virgin raped by the god Mars and forced to abandon her twins at their birth. “The Guilty Woman of the Forest and Her Many Tombs” contains guttural sculptures of the hills of Rome and paintings of its shores, representing them as sites both real and imaginary, geographic and emotional. Everything is drenched in organic substances like molasses, crystalized salt and milk, insisting on life as much as eventual decay, and the importance of smells and natural processes in the work of feminist historical recuperation.