The Puppet Show

Imported from Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art, this collection is an attempt to get past crowd-pleasing populism to a more complex understanding of what a puppet can be. Dennis Oppenheim’s Theme for a Major Hit comprises five marionettes, also obediently suited, and each a self-portrait of Oppenheim. Pierre Huyghe’s brilliant film This is not a time for dreaming uses puppets to enact the struggle between Harvard and Le Corbusier. In Natalie Djurberg’s indelibly memorable video Feed All the Hungry Children, a claymation hooker walks into a shantytown, where naked children surround and undress her. And in her two works, Louise Bourgeois asks who owns the body, memory, and truth, impelled by an apparently dysfunctional childhood that she won’t speak about specifically. Her sculptures possess the puppet’s ultimate power: to shriek while remaining silent. VICTORIA ELLISON

Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: May 16. Continues through Sept. 13, 2009

 
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