Critics’ Picks

Josh Faught, Sally Jesse (Scott), 2014, hand woven and crocheted hemp, gold lame, wool, sequin trim, pins on linen, 72 x 52 x 2".

New York

Josh Faught

Lisa Cooley
107 Norfolk Street
October 26–December 21, 2014

For his latest show, Josh Faught has produced a multivalent range of woven and crocheted work. Handwoven hemp has been dyed to match the hues of the past year’s fashion and then adorned with glitter, sequin trim, gold lamé, and bedazzled seashells, among other winking materials. Each work has been named after a past lover, and Faught has woven the name of the individual into the tapestry. In many, the woof and warp is so tight that it creates images and patterns, while in others, the fabric frays and spools, gesturing at the precariousness of the medium. At play are dynamics of desire for human intimacy and then for material culture, intimating how easily the two can become confused. Faught aptly titled the exhibition “Christmas Creep” after a merchandizing phenomenon that capitalizes on the commercialization of Christmas by moving the marketing date up to Halloween, signaling a queer commingling of fear and joy and the way memories and feelings become attached to objects.

Many of the subjects in “Christmas Creep” grew out of an installation Faught created at the Neptune Society Columbarium in San Francisco, an interment site for those who died of AIDs. A number of the works on view incorporate a motley group of objects—VHS tapes, rubber onion rings, plastic chocolate cookies—mementos of a fixed past but also part of an archive that can be reimagined in the present and future. An AIDS activist button reading “I’m a name not a number” is pinned into Sally Jesse (Scott), 2014. With the exception of a clock, the tapestry is abstract, the handworked surface of the material gesturing at the way an object can keep one alive.