"Jackals and Jerks" at Stairwell
From my review of “Jackals and Jerks” at Stairwell Gallery:
Jo Dery of Providence has erected a red, black, and white tent, screenprinted with a pine needle pattern, in which she offers tarot readings on Thursdays from 2 to 4 p.m. Around it and inside are wicked charming cartoony screenprints, drawings, and embroidered sashes depicting stylized evergreen trees, rams, mating crickets, a blue hand reaching down from the sky, snakes, and bearded men. They feel like glimpses of old folktales — maybe from some clan of nomadic reindeer herders.Read the rest here.
Providence artist Jung Hong’s installation, “Box,” resembles a mutant photo booth decorated with a pattern of green-and-black stripes and diamonds. It’s a sort of machine, but powered by old magic. Crawl inside a low arch on the front and you find an array of colored lights, a weird chain mail head, and a wall of bird legs, skulls, and doll heads in glass-fronted niches. A sign invites you to put 50 cents in a slot. If the machine’s operator is present (i.e., hiding inside a compartment in the back), a chain mail hand may emerge from a pair of small doors holding fried ice cream.
Ms. Dery recently updated her website and it's worth checking out.
“Jackals and Jerks,” Stairwell Gallery, 504 Broadway, Providence, June 12 to July 13, 2008.
Pictured from top to bottom: Jo Dery’s “Tarot Tent,” interior with Ms. Dery preparing to give a reading, and exterior; Dery’s “Head”; and Jung Hong’s “Box,” detail.