Streetcraft and stagecraft

By GREG COOK  |  November 23, 2010

Their new exhibit at Boston University's 808 Gallery is called "In Search of Eden: A Work in Progress," and they mean "in progress." Last week, three weeks after the exhibit opened, they had installed only four of the seven planned triptychs; the rest of the vast gallery was a disheveled workspace. The photos, set in wooden arch frames that recall church windows, all address themes of Eden or apples or womanhood, things like that.

Triiibe's command of allegory is not yet sophisticated enough to manage a subject as loaded as Eden, but their stagecraft — the costumes, the sets, the dramatic lighting — is ever more astonishing. In one image, the sisters cavort in swimsuits in a wonderland of giant apples. Another photo transforms them into a skanky Barbie, a little girl enamored of the doll, and the girl then grown up into a sullen, goth teen. A third triptych shows a greasy dude in a dark alley opening his trenchcoat to offer dozens of golden apples. A nervous fellow sits holding one. A mesmerized woman fondles one of the apples. It's a clichéd reimagining of Adam, Eve, and Satan, who wears a snake pendant around his neck just in case you can't tell who's who. What's missing is mystery. Although Satan's snakeskin high heels are a nice touch.

“Mark Bradford” | ICA, 100 Northern Ave, Boston | Through March 13 | “Triiibe: In Search of Eden” | 808 Gallery, Boston University, 808 Comm Ave, Boston | Through December 19

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  Topics: Museum And Gallery , Mark Bradford, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Institute of Contemporary Arts,  More more >
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