The Albatross | Swimming Pool Project Space | Galleries | Chicago Reader

The Albatross Member Picks Free All Ages Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Oct. 30-Nov. 28 2010

From time to time lush decoration and meticulous handicraft sneak back into fine art, even if it's on the backs of pigs. Consider the ornate visual perversity of Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, who in the mid-aughts tattooed elaborate images from Christianity and Disney on swine and either stuffed them or exhibited the skins. David Harper picked up on the congruence of craft, beauty, and carcasses at the Sullivan Galleries last summer, associating it with aristocracy in Noblesse Oblige, an installation consisting of a mysterious piece of furniture on a knit-slipcover-encased bearskin rug near a set of tables featuring morbidly perfect porcelain dolls. Like that of fellow Canadian Daniel Barrow, Harper's work evokes the hallucinatory shimmer of a refined typhus quarantine. He's applied that aesthetic to the narrow confines of the Swimming Pool Project Space with The Albatross, an installation meant to evoke the yearning and claustrophobia of voyagers at sea. --Bert Stabler

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