Kyla Hansen: Becoming A Horse | Max Maslansky: Mags 'n Crabs 👀

In the alley behind Navy St.
Sep 09, 2 PM - 5 PM — ends Oct 20, 2018
Hansen’s sculpture and installation work in Becoming a Horse explores transformations: psychological, physical, and material, against the backdrop of the American West. Using the desert landscape as language to explore gender, her work delves into archetypes of female and animal imagery and explores ideas of female domestication and wildness. Becoming a Horse draws inspiration from the short story Horse, by Amy Bonnaffons, in which two women attempt very different transformations. One wants to become a mother; the other wants to become a horse. Bonnaffon’s characters do away with social constraints, via the seemingly contradictory but necessary task of cultivating wildness and instinct.
Hansen’s sculptures are built from emblematic bones of the desert — dry, abandoned objects with potential to be fleshed out again. In the desert tradition of assemblage, Hansen’s densely fabricated sculptures embrace the clumsy, lop-sided, eccentric nature of transformation. References to exploring and escaping one’s body emerge and throughout the show.
Becoming a Horse also features several of Hansen’s text-based quilts, which similarly explore and escape the space in which they are supposed to exist. Letter forms move back and forth between abstraction and narration. The quilts themselves expand beyond a traditional rectilinear format and echo organic forms. Spray painted lines, clothing remnants and architectural fragments are collaged together with quilted elements, mimicking the patched-together-nature of

Max Maslansky’s handmade ceramic crabs, a new inclusion in his body of work, will be presented alongside his ongoing painted magazine pages culled from teen spreads.

Maslansky’s fascination with crabs, while still mysterious to the artist himself, is rooted in the machinations of desire. While there’s recent scientific evidence suggesting crabs do feel pain, anecdotal impressions of crabs’ ‘zombiness’ persist in his mind: for instance, there’s a video in which a crab is consuming food while being cooked alive.

Similar conclusions could be said of the teen magazine culture that fetishizes pubescence and youths under the guise of advertisement and celebrity worship on behalf of the entertainment industry. Their desiring machines choose to roar as early as possible, almost grazing the realm of sexual taboo without anyone really noticing.

Together, these bodies of work allude to the wordplay with a certain STI, the grumpiness (the crabbiness) that results from pubescent aspirations being unmet, the creepy unknowns of the deep sea–an analog to the potential abyss of desire itself. They further map Maslansky’s understanding of desire through humor, poesis, and formal playfulness.