reviews > COVID-19

What’s the archetypal object in your home? Mine might be the handmade ceramic mugs I’ve collected over the years, a combination of eccentric one-offs that feel just right to me. For EXIT, a sadly postponed group exhibition at an old warehouse in London, Nana Wolke created like items for figures from popular culture. The twin sisters from The Shining get a steel-framed diptych the size of a pair of twin beds (ha!), painted the innocent blue of their matching dresses, only in a quilted bedspread pattern rather than the stripes of the original. Willy Wonka—as played by Gene Wilder in the 1971 musical, not Johnny Depp in the 2005 remake or whatever you imagine him to look like based on Roald Dahl’s beloved children’s novel—becomes a wonky (ha! again) candelabra, its base the deep purple of Wonka’s coat, its nipple-like candles the bright orange of his top hat. Imagine living in a place where these were the beds, these the lights, their aura infusing the entire domestic scene with the losses and imbalances of childhood—innocence interrupted, fantasy gone askew, responsibility misconstrued. No one wants to live in the symbolic.

—Lori Waxman 2020-10-22 1:58 PM