by Sara J. Pasti, Andrew Ingall, Corinna Ripps Schaming
Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art
Paperback · 83 pages · ISBN 0998207535
The boxing term "gloves off"--frequently used as a metaphor to characterize brutal political campaigns and post-9/11 military interrogation--aptly describes the subtle aggressions in American popular culture that Sara Greenberger Rafferty lays bare. Blurring the lines between two and three dimensions, Rafferty attaches her wall-mounted works using custom-painted screws that break up the images. She also deploys cracked paint resembling viscous bodily fluids, further "wounding" the objects. Over the past decade, Rafferty has referenced the language, gestures, and props associated with stand-up comedy. This exhibition includes a new large-scale work entitled "Jokes on You," featuring images of ephemera from the collections of the National Museum of American History, which was part of Rafferty's study during her Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Index cards from the Phyllis Diller "Gag File," scanned and recontextualized by Rafferty, underscore the trauma associated with cultural mores that assert control over women's bodies, such as marriage and consumerism.