Jordan Wolfson's Raspberry Poser at Redcat
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The gallery at Cal Arts' Redcat is carpeted in white, with white walls and a projection screen as big as a wall set at an angle in the darkened space. A hand-drawn animated cartoon figure, a red haired boy in a striped shirt, stands in front of the La Perla lingerie shop in SoHo, New York as Beyonce's "Sweet Dreams" lulls us into sitting on the floor and watching. A white condom filled with red heart shaped bubbles floats across the city and recurs as a character in various settings. A menacing red HIV virus bounces around to the disco beat symbolizing the pleasure and threat of sex.
Our amusing cartoon boy wanders through luxe CGI interiors with minimalist but elegant modern furniture at times, while at others he attempts suicide through self-strangulation or evisceration. He responds badly to questions about his wealth, his sexual preferences. The artist himself, outfitted as skin head in black leather jacket, stars in the sequences set in Paris. Questions of identity merge with themes of love and lust in this 14 minute non-narrative loop that also features Roy Orbison singing "Only the Lonely" and Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You."
Wolfson, born in 1980, studied at Rhode Island School of Design and like many younger artists seems completely at home in the realm of multi-media presentations, in this case video, digital and analog imagery, along with a selection of music. A lot happens simultaneously and sitting on the floor, you can float along with it, buoyed like a condom floating on the breeze but feeling the chilly undercurrent of despair. The show, produced by Redcat curator Aram Moshayedi, continues through January 27. For more information, go to www. Redcat.org.
Banner image: Jordan Wolfson, installation view of Raspberry Poser, 2012. Photo by Scott Groller