A.K. Burns


A.K. Burns

Work from “Touch Parade”.

“Burns brings intelligence and humor to her subjects. In a 2011 interview with Rhizome director Lauren Cornell, she asks pithy questions like, “Why are things, shaped the way they are, continually inserted in to our vaginal consumerist reality?” and asserts that “the personal is not only political, but sexual.”

The show combined six wall-hung mixed-medium sculptures (all works 2012) with as many floor sculptures; the two groups engaged in a subtle dialogue. The wall works feature found images (most of them from the New York Public Library Picture Collection) printed on roughly 14-by-11-inch pieces of canvas. Each was attached to the wall by a penny stuck partway into a groove that had been dug into the drywall surface.

The canvas hangs limply around the penny, forming unmistakably labial shapes that obscure some of the images; visitors were permitted to lift the folds for better viewing. In combination with the usual prohibition against touching art, it was all likely to make a viewer blush.

But not the imagery, which is (usually) pretty civilized. The punningly titled In Labor shows placard-bearing workers on strike. On Our Knees visually rhymes a photo of female workers kneeling in the dirt at an archeological dig and one of a woman in bondage gear on hands and knees, a pane of glass placed on her back to create a table. Extending the rough play is Figuratively, which, if you lift the canvas, reveals an image of a bondage chair designed to look like a woman’s legs.” – Art in America

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