PRINT September 1996


JENNIFER PASTOR’S SCULPTURE inspires a giddy silence, the same gravid hush that occurs when we first catch sight of something truly strange. In nature and in life, such spectacles come ready-made: solar eclipses, concept cars, pedestrians struck by speeding cabs. In art, the strange and the new and our need for them have long been examined and formulaically deployed. But Pastor sidesteps the institutionalized strangeness of art for the strange institution of artifice: her work takes as its subject the realm of the reverently unreal, where nature’s serendipity is frozen and a novelty is achieved that is fundamentally different from the usual art-world kind.

To date, Pastor has produced only a few major works. But each is an over-the-top paste gem, none more barmy than her Untitled (Christmas Flood), 1994: a quite literal flood of fake Christmas trees, dangerously decorative ornaments, and

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