Friday, March 1, 2019

The Kitchen, Lex Brown, Animal Static

Walking into Animal Static, a collection of works by visual and performance artist Lex Brown, the interior of the Kitchen appears almost empty. The space is barely lit when the first jarring motion-sensed light comes on, spotlighting a large crayon and colored pencil drawing of connecting geometric forms and letters. In bright pastels, part of it reads "Slavery. It can happen to anyone." Across the room, small slopes between the floor and wall indicate a screen that grey footprints instruct you to stand uncomfortably close to. This action activates one of three large screens showing the focal piece of this show, Animal Static
The videos, when all activated, play discordant, surreal greenscreened footage. On one screen, characters trade video content for commodities at a new "Ice + Cream" pop-up, providing an interesting contrast in types of consumption. Another screen shows a close-up of a bulldog humping someone's leg. Within Brown's playful world are punctuations of seriousness that keep the viewer grounded in the deep implications of her topics. The silliness and glitchy unease of Animal Static shines a light on urgent topics such as digital interaction, police brutality, and online identity. 

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