Camilla Taylor & ‘Diverted Destruction’ @ The Loft at Liz’s

June 29, 2018

Diverted Destruction from The Loft at Liz’s presents an assortment of artwork that most politely is described as “recycled”. While that is a worthy creative effort in its own right, for the sake of art we ought to expect goodness to be represented aesthetically. What else would the purpose of raising one person’s trash be if not to turn it into another person’s treasure? Fortunately, amidst the generally pleasant creativity, the artist Camilla Taylor had several evocative pieces worthy of discussion.

 

An initial response to approaching her artwork exhibited is being aghast – Ms. Taylor describes it as “unsettling” – at the cryptically morbid collection. Putting aside the textural efforts which provide one aspect of this scintillation, the amalgam of headless sculptures with the perception of a collection of shrunken-heads is jarring to say the least. And to some, the experience may be off-putting.

 

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Yet under the veil of blackness is an experiment in representing the human condition. At the very least, Ms. Taylor’s work encourages us to look past the possibly irksome and invites us to study art for its sake. Patience is testimony to this, both in name and in exercise! We cannot help but detect a sense of hocus pocus, as if we found a decapitated monkey hanging in a witch’s pantry to be used as an ingredient in her next cauldron batch. Yet the embellished stretched arms – imaginatively brilliantly paired with those metallic hands – moves us past the discomfort of an artwork that can be intimated as a celebration of black magic and is instead a successful meditation on being human.

 

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We have the veritable sense of gravity expressed in the work that can only be appreciated by those who have had to wrestle with the awful persistence of the titular virtue. Here, unpleasantness and the eerie of experiencing the artwork can resonant a sense of sympathy with the poor figurine in static burden – sympathy and not pity because of the universal human necessity of avoiding haste in the world, as wisdom educates, which often is a consequence of a geyser of vitality that is out of step with the grander march of the cosmos. It’s particularly clever to present the work with a sense of struggle of the figure attempting to lift its weighted hands down, only, in perpetuity, to turn what may have been strong arms into enervated and flaccid noodles. A somber gesture, but one that serves a catharsis on the affirmation of being human.

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