reviews > St Louis, MO

3/19/15 2:08 PM

“Super Sad True Love Story” is a 2010 novel by the Russian-born writer Gary Shteyngart. It is also the name of an exhibition by Cole Lu, a Taiwanese-born artist. Shteyngart’s novels are erudite and hilarious in a way that feels especially contemporary: expressing a sincere emotional response that is unknowingly superficial. Lu’s sculptures materialize similar sentiments around the idea of love and caring or, as she puts it in a painfully succinct light box text that makes the most of its literal and figurative meanings: CURRENTLY UN-ABLE TO GIVE A FUCK. A foam helmet reconfigured with a toilet paper dispenser offers a cutely immediate way to deal with the excessive crying typical of emotional heartbreak, while a specially designed shelf provides a space to store smart devices, so necessary for what passes as relating today. A coffee maker-plus-toy gun assemblage sits on a coffee table dubbed “LACK” by Ikea, raising the question: did the designer forget to check his English-Swedish dictionary or did he, like Lu, imagine the temporary furnishings of temporary love?

—Lori Waxman