Flannery Silva

Karma International
Weststrasse 75
June 3, 2017–July 15, 2017

View of “Sugaring Off,” 2017.

Aren’t these twinned baby-doll strollers strange? Each holding an ostrich egg, they stand paired in file on a pedestal, while mobiles featuring red crosses on white hearts dangle above. The title of the series? “Adultery Costume A-C,” 2017. Yes, this is romantic conceptualism, and in just the right place.

Zurich rarely looks uglier than this gallery’s location: In the 1980s, faceless structures of fair-faced concrete (or béton brut) were thrown up in the middle of the city as office and commercial buildings on much-travelled thoroughfares. A few cheap businesses and bars still occupy them, but most are empty. Flannery Silva knows how to make use of this history and has produced a convincing, ironic exhibition. It is presented like the pop-up store of a company that offers custom in-vitro fertilization, with small stages for doll strollers and light boxes on the walls that bathe the whole space in just the right light.

Silva was born in New York in 1991. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, she now lives with artist Chloé Elizabeth Maratta in Los Angeles, and together they have a band: Odwalla1221 (formerly known as Odwalla88). The exhibition was smartly timed with their spring/summer European tour and a show of their work at SCHLOSS in Oslo. But Silva’s “Sugaring Off” has its own groove, and whoever sees it can’t get the odd strollers nor the pros and cons of procreation in a test tube out of her mind.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.

— Max Glauner