Out in Tucson, AZ, Janny Taylor is keeping busy with Collaging My Way Through the Virus. Each composition includes at least one invented character, including Marisa and her fashionista face mask, a pink-and-orange warrior woman from the future, and Savannah, a science journalist who wears a microscopic lens over her eyes. There are worse ways to deal with a pandemic than to make collages at home, using materials already in one’s possession and the readily available display space of Instagram. Indeed, Taylor’s may be one of the better tactics for riding out the threat of contamination and respecting the rules of social distancing, while also meeting the very real need for critical expression. Taylor accomplishes this last with style, quite literally: a majority of her source material appears to be fashion magazines, some of them vintage, and the tone of the very short stories that accompany each composition read as if lifted from those same pages. Their content, however, has elements of biting irony and reflexive fantasy that no self-respecting women’s rag would ever touch. Too bad for them. Think one part Martha Rosler, one dash Haruki Murakami, a bit of Max Ernst, and a splash of Barry Yourgrau. Taylor recently completed number 108 in the series. Needless to say, there’s no end in sight.
—Lori Waxman 2020-07-25 8:29 AM