Thursday, September 21, 2006

Hooray to Jody for being BLARTed:
'Communicable 2006' at WET Gallery

Rivulets of solid filth, embedded pubic hairs, lacy puddles of collapsed lather, the invisible coating of epidermal cells from some anonymous donor—and that disgusting color, off-off white, or maybe scum gray, pearly like rotted teeth, an ivory piano key that's been fingered so often it gleams with a coating of oil and dust. Used soap is the perfect medium to explore capital's solution to communicable disease: It both generates fear of contagion and promises to resolve the danger it created. Just buy more soap. Or, better yet, antibacterial hand gel.

Communicable 2006 isn't just a single bar of used motel-room soap, but a whole nasty grid of them, strung together in a curtain. The artist, Jody Wood, collected the stubby bars from motels on Aurora Avenue (the Black Angus Motor, Marco Polo, and Vagabond inns)—and then, just for kicks, added a few from the rather more swank Sorrento Hotel on First Hill. Video projections of various pathogens fall across the soap curtain, but they're unnecessary. Ask the antibacterial industry: We fantasize our own germs."
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