Since at least the dawn of postmodernism, we no longer trust in the idea of singular truth. This is the case with photography as with history: an image shows only what the photographer includes in the frame, a story tells only what the narrator describes. What gets cropped or burned, who won or lost, mightily affects the final picture. Hayward Wilkirson produces weathered photomontages of Roman sculptures, neat digital drawings of water glasses and sex dolls, and lead sculptures of paper airplanes that, despite their marked differences of material and content, all get at this core: there isn’t just one truth, and it likely isn’t what it seems. Not in terms of gender, power, or even simply the way something looks to the naked eye. “Paper Airplanes,” Wilkirson’s most recent series, approaches this complex notion most accessibly. We all folded paper as children, and we all tried to fly them, with greater and lesser success. Is a paper airplane still a paper airplane if it’s made from a thin sheet of lead? All that seems certain is that it will crash.
—Lori Waxman 3/23/17 1:58 PM