Unnatural History

Here’s our promise to you with this piece about Jessica Drenk: We're not going to talk about the green movement. Of course, being that the Tucson-based artist makes works out of disposable items, it would be an easy comparison. But we’re not going to go the wussy route. Instead, we say Drenk's exhibition “Archaeologica: The Disposable Museum of Jessica Drenk” is strong enough to stand on its own, without the crutch of a trendy, social movement. Drenk – who set up this show like a natural-history museum and refers to each piece as a "specimen" – creates oddly gorgeous works out of discarded materials. Trashy bits of toilet paper, coffee filters, toothpicks, and Q-tips are embedded in waxes, resins, and clays, creating bulbous, often translucent sculptures that look like prehistoric remnants of a different world. The Q-tips, cotton balls, and porcelain clay become a volcanic, deep-sea formation while clusters of slightly burned toothpicks transform into the quivering quills of dangerously spiky vegetation.
Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: April 24. Continues through Aug. 2, 2009


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