Legtopia - new work by Janel Shultz
Opening Friday, November 10th 7-10pm
On View Sundays, 1-5pm through November 26th
Performance: Saturday, November 18th 7pm "A Menagerie of Limbs"
Choreographed by Lisa Fagan
LEGTOPIA, by Brooklyn-based artist Janel Schultz, is a large-scale grouping of three-dimensional animal legs, suspended as a herd of assorted soft-sculptural forms. With painterly allusion to characteristic markings and textural simulations, the fragmented limbs pull traits from various species. Internal joints and hinges allow potential for the sculptures to bend and lift activated by strings and performers. When not engaged in movement, they exist as a stoic herd, as if they were standing on their own. This absurd flock, distorted in scale, joins hybridized creatures drawn from habitats real and imagined.
The animal world is abundant with texture and form, with continual change, fragility and perseverance. Merging both natural and human imagery, such as feathers with fingers or eggs with teeth, limb with limb, Janel seeks to draw parallels between the natural world and the body we humans know. The sculptural work is playful and imaginative with a heavy focus on the body - by blending animal forms and fragments of characteristic traits, Janel seeks to weave an emotional connection to existence with imagined evolutions. Her playful re-arrangements hint at transformation and invented adaptation.
Using soft sculpture, painting, and small cast elements, materials are combined intuitively to abstract known animal forms. A particular emphasis that is given on limbs seeks to evoke and echo the mobility of species. Inspired by migrations, the artist arranges forms in clusters to reflect herds and flocks. Pulled from different environments, with scale-shifts and exaggerations, emerges a collection of hybrid forms, with reference to the real but hovering the line of imaginary. She tries to exist in the state of becoming, a liminal transition, to tease what is known and what is imagined.
Also included in this exhibition are a series of smaller limbs that are made to fit onto a single human leg. A group of performers will wear these soft-sculptural limbs as they move among the strange herd of suspended limbs.