Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Molly Lowe

Diana and I visited Molly's Williamsburg studio.

Krit recently introduced us to her work and we loved it so much that Molly is now in our next show!!
Save the date!!! Sept 28 

When Molly was in Singapore, this ubiquitous stock image was used in all the massage parlors. Molly added the knife, manipulating the image into an image of a back-stabber. She explained that in her photoshopped collage, just as in the idiom, the victim is at her most vulnerable and most relaxed just before the backstabber betrays her.  
At first, I thought this was just a typical make-out take-out, but I quickly realized it was much more than that! Look closer, gentle reader, it's two images in one. Do you see it? When I realized what I was looking at, I couldn't stop laughing and I began referring to this piece as "nature's dirty little trick." First, nature lures its unsuspecting victims into a make-out take-out, and if the participants don't out-trick nature at her own game, they are left with a freshly-formed mammalian of their very own! I enjoy how this image flips back and forth, and how the idea of time is ambiguous and mysterious. It is unclear whether the infant or the lovers are an image of the past or the future. What is clear is that time marches on relentlessly with or without our approval, and that the continuation of our species carries on incessantly, impervious to our own individual existence. The collage also simultaneously exemplifies two of the most intimate and instinctual bonds any of us will ever experience; first with our mothers and then with our lovers. 
Here, Molly is creating a catacomb. I love the references to anthropology in Molly's work as well as how she deals with the incomprehensible nature of time and addresses our greatest fear, which is death. Molly's work reminded me of Ernest Becker's Denial of Death. I've been reading that book on and off for the past three years, somehow I can never bring myself to finishing it, which may have something to do with the fact that I know how it ends. The premise of the book is that we humans live in a constant state of anxiety and fear since we are aware of our own finitude, and that our greatest accomplishments are merely methods we devise to distract ourselves from our own death. According to Becker it is more neurotic and damaging to ourselves to deny the inevitable. Becker received a Pulitzer Prize for Denial of Death, six weeks after he died.
On his own death bed, as he was dying of cancer, Becker wrote about how he was confronted with testing out his own thesis first hand. I can't even begin to imagine such a confrontation with my own life ending, and it may have something to do with the idea behind the title of Damien Hirst's shark which is The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. GREATEST TITLE EVER. Who can top that? Close second- Gauguin. Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? Although to be honest, I don't care at all about where we come from, I'm more interested in what are we and where are we going. 
 Molly has the rare ability to transform the banal and everyday into psychologically riveting objects. She made this sculpture by cutting up laundry detergent bottles while she was at Skowhegan last year. After visiting Molly's studio I was reminded of how strange, fascinating, as well as disturbing and unfathomable everyday existence actually is.    
Molly's work taps into the sublime by accessing the suspension of reason in the face of the incomprehensible.


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