Arts

Weird World: Four essays on art that deals with world-building, dread, and utopia

When I interviewed the artist Katie Bachler a few months ago about her BMA Outpost project, she said, "There's more utopians here [in Baltimore] than I've met anywhere else." Imagining an ideal world is necessary, but in order to do that we sometimes have to revel and stew in the trashier, stranger, more mysterious aspects of our world. And there happen to be plenty of artists in Baltimore doing that right now, too. Here are four short-ish reviews of art that seems to reinterpret or reimagine, make fun of, lighten, or relish the strangeness or fucked-up-ness of the world.

  • 'Into the Blue' at Terrault Contemporary

    You know the guy with the bad hair who's been winning a scary number of primaries in this country lately? The other day, I saw this statement he reportedly made after winning some of those primaries: "We're gonna make our country great again, and we need the rich to make it great. Trust me." In...

  • 'Devil May Care' at Current Space

    All three artists in this show use drawing, painting, and sculpture to interpret hellish worlds or create new ones. Joe Crawford Pile's large mixed media paintings on panel depict monster trucks freewheelin' through broken neighborhoods in a frenzy of fast brushstrokes and collage and scribbled...

  • 'Make and Do' at Platform Gallery

    At first, everything in this aggressively chipper show is too much. A dozen deflated smiley face mylar balloons bunched together like a blanket hang on one wall; the gallery's bay window houses glittery dinosaur, robot, and hot dog costumes made of cardboard. Elsewhere there are hot-glued candy...

  • '1,000 Heads Among the Trees' at MAP

    You are a visitor in a dark, strange, near-deserted town in this computer game. You can walk, run, crawl, and jump (though you don't often need the latter two; this is a low-energy game) along dusty nighttime roads, snapping photographs and writing notes in your journal. The time of day never changes;...

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