Gae Savannah redux

A while back I did a post which included a detail of one of the extravagant sculptures of Gae Savannah seen at the scope New York art fair. I now have more images, furnished by the artist, including a more complete view of Tai Rhi, shown only in detail on March 12.

There's not much more I feel I can add here. The work is so wonderfully over the top it tends to leave me speechless everytime I encounter it, but I have to say that no photograph comes close to making them as alive and assertive as they appear first hand.

The artist offers a few words on the pieces shown in the bottom photograph, but fortunately they don't erase the magic:

Patisserie Chinoise (Chinese Bakery,) evolved after visiting Shanghai last summer and realizing that I was standing in the future. I bought the hair accessories, silk brocade, etc. for the pieces there and in Beijing. So China fabricates plastic-everything and innumerable other manufacturable products for America to buy. (We don't make anything any more, my father always reminds me.) Then China, now itself buying the pretty items, eventually wallops us economically and becomes the new America. Ironically, Capitalism comes down to: the one with the most plastic wins. (Incidentally, Walmart has just opened its first store in Beijing.) Moreover, with previously quaint Shanghai now looking identical to any towering megalopolis in the world, we have clear globalization of culture, loss of the charm and soul of folk culture. So a French Patisserie can be Chinese --it's all mixed up, East and West. Particularities are being sucked into the tornado of the dollar/yen consumer generic.

From another angle, in "Orientalism," Edward Said writes of the domestication of the exotic. He states: “the very power and scope of Orientalism produced a kind of second-order knowledge with a life of its own,” --in effect, Asia has become the West’s “collective daydream of the Orient.” Indeed, “the Orient then seems to be a theatrical stage affixed to Europe [the West.]” In fact, these refulgent refuges, petite pavilions of dream are but delusional hallucinations.

Savannah will be included in a group show, "Culture Vulture," at Jack the Pelican curated by David Gibson and opening this Friday.

Gae Savannah Tai Rhi 2005 hair accessories, beads, fabric, wood, light 34" x 18" x 18"

Gae Savannah Lei-Tsu 2003 hair accessories, Christmas ornaments, beads, feathers, wire, wood 22” x 9” (diameter)

GaePatisserie 000.jpg
Gae Savannah Patisserie Chinoise installation view (of part or all of 7 of 8) wood, hair accessories and mixed media approx. 17” x 10” (diameter) each

[images from Gae Savannah]

If you like this I think you'd also like the work of Richmond's Sandra Luckett. She recently showed here with Nicole Cherubini - someone else you've posted on.

Thanks for all the great photos - not just this post's but ALL of them. Did you see the photo I put up of me with Eva and Adele?

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Published on March 31, 2005 1:06 AM.

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