Lacey Jane Roberts

Like a burr in a cashmere sweater, there’s one work that catches you—literally halts your progress—in The Mysterious Content of Softness, which features dozens of pieces by 11 fiber artists. Strategically placed across a short passageway, the big pink yarn fence that is We Couldn’t Get In. We Couldn’t Get Out checks your momentum through the generally interesting, eclectic show. You’ve been detained, like a gallerygoer at Gitmo. New York artist Lacey Jane Roberts tops her chain-link fence with razor wire (also woven yarn); and the whole edifice is both comical and menacing. A child could easily claw through the hanging mesh, but it suggests a whole sad world of military jails, immigrant holding pens, prison yards, and other forms of incarceration. Invented in mid-19th-century England, cyclone fences are the perfect product of the Industrial Revolution. (Appropriately, the inventor adapted a cloth weaving process to work with wire, as Roberts is surely aware.) Chain-like is today one of the the most mundane and invisible materials of the city—until you start looking for a gate or find yourself climbing over one (a lost art, really, practiced today by teenagers and on TV cop shows). But Roberts’ concertina wire up top couldn’t actually cut anyone; there’s no danger to the piece, only the residual reminder of unwanted confinement, the thin barrier between captive and jailer. BRIAN MILLER

Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: Feb. 4. Continues through June 26, 2011

More in Arts & Culture

Cat Power (aka Chan Marshall). Photo by Julien Bourgeois
Cat Power Powers Through

The acclaimed singer-songwriter chats about her stripped-down new album ‘Wanderer,’ motherhood, and when performance gets in the way of the song.

Sloucher displaying surprisingly decent posture. Photo by Eleanor Petry
Sloucher Is Not Posturing

The Seattle band doesn’t shy away from embracing ’90s guitar rock on ‘Be True.’

Rhino riggers protest outside of the Jay-Z and Beyonce show outside of Seattle’s CenturyLink Field on Oct. 4, 2018. Photo courtesy of IATSE
The Backstage Blues: Riggers Complain of Unfair Labor Practices

Theatrical stage employees come for the music and stay for the thrill. But at what price?

Viola Davis and Cynthia Erivo star in ‘Widows.’ Photo by Merrick Morton
Crime Doesn’t Pay Off in ‘Widows’

Steve McQueen’s feminist heist thriller stretches itself far too thin.

Tim Blake Nelson plays the titular Buster Scruggs. Photo courtesy Netflix
‘The Ballad of Buster Scruggs’ Is a Wagon Train of Dark Mischief

The Coen brothers’ new anthology seves as a glorious ode to Westerns’ dusty death.

City Arts Ceases Publication

The free local culture magazine shuts down operations after 12 years.

Greta Klein (center right) brings the soft indie pop Frankie Cosmos to The Neptune. Photo by Angel Ceballos
The Soft Comfort of Frankie Cosmos

Sub Pop’s tenderest band brings its indie pop to The Neptune.

French dance company Compagnie Käfig brings the lights of ‘Pixel’ to Meany Center. Photo by Laurent Philippe
Pick List: Compagnie Käfig, Brooklyn Rider, Pete Souza

The week’s best entertainment offerings.

Most Read