Friday, July 10, 2015

Revenge of the Goldfish: it's impossible not to feel the contradiction in the name given by Sandy Skoglund to the work she created in 1981. Her later tableus would feature foxes - or dogs. The viewer may well be overcome by disgust on seeing Germs are Everywhere(1984), or succumb to a sense of discomfort in the face of the shimmering green felines in Radioactive Cats(1980). Even the fidgety squirrels in Gathering Paradase(1991) somehow seem more threatening than the over-sized goldfish that have somehow found ther way into a middle-class bedroom. In fact, the two protagonists of the scene - mother and son - seem to not even noticed the arrival of the fish. The scene oscillates oddly between the real and the surreal. What sounds threatening in the title reveals itself in the picture to be markedly peaceful and relaxed. At most, it is the mass of the reddish-orange creatures taken as a whole that creates a rather alarming effect - fish that somehow have mistakenly wandered into an environment where they really do not belond. Much easier to understand is the room, in which we find everything that a conventional bedroom ought to offer: bed, dresser,lamp, mirror, latticed window. Here are my favourite works of Sandy Skoglund


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