Silicone Valley is an exhibition featuring 13 American artists whose works, on the surface, posit false realities. By employing and implying decoys, violence, and manifestations of the grotesque, the show probes the merger of seduction with horror.
The title makes reference to Silicon Valley, the nexus of the dot com phenomenon. `Silicon’ is frequently misspelled `silicone,’ a synthetic material commonly used for plastic surgery—in other words, a corporeal decoy.
The exhibition includes a selection of photographs from Meredith Allen’s Forever series, which showcases her mother’s Beanie Baby collection protectively and melancholically sealed in plastic bags. Lizzi Bougatsos’ diminutive gold piles of excremental plaster, and Julian LaVerdiere’s sturdy looking eagle busts actually made of Nerf foam rubber will be scattered throughout the space. A site-specific installation by William Pope.L features a corridor of scrap wood lined with a wall of trophies: New England animals slathered in peanut butter and mayonnaise. Joe Bradley’s “Home Depot”-style Minimalism will be on view, as will Corey D’Augustine’s series of monochrome “paintings” made with materials like silicone and antifreeze.
The debut of painter Dan McCarthy’s starkest and most foreboding work to date depicts characters with seemingly acid-tinged, color-coded skin against blank white backgrounds. Marlene McCarty will present new, psychologically terrorizing drawings of young women who have killed family members, often after sexual abuse. Peter Caine will unveil a new animatronic sculpture of God, alongside several recent, nonfigurative kinetic pieces, each a stack of wiggling gears and motors cloaked in skin-tight Lycra. Rodney McMillian will contribute works evoking Abstract Expressionist canvases that are actually cast-out rugs and household junk. The photographer Eileen Quinlan will show a group of works from her ongoing Smoke & Mirrors series. Catherine Ross’ newest video isolates clips of television actors’ gesticulations from the sitcom “Three’s Company” and pairs the scrolling index of bodily unconsciousness with a hypnotizing soundtrack by trumpeter Taylor Haskins. Christy Singleton will unveil a phalanx of her “ladies,” silicone sculptures of southern women whose bodies have become battlegrounds of plastic surgery.