new-york

Michelle Stuart

P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center

For all of those who shuddered every time Ramar stepped out of the clearing around his house and into the jungle, Michelle Stuart’s Correspondences is reassuring armchair exploration—of the Yucatan rather than Africa, however. Palms and bamboos are contained in burlap bags and silver-painted baskets; the potentially hackle-raising chatter of monkeys, insects, and parrots is defused by the soothing voice of a narrator and the lull of flutey, Mayan music. The lights are low, and, while sitting on the chairs provided, you face a wall of what appear to be terra-cotta tiles inset with two images: on your left, a photograph of two dark crosses flanking a barred window in a weathered wooden siding; on your right, a relief carving of an animalistic figure. This installation has all of the advantages of a cloister (retreat, safety, and religious atmosphere) and none of the claustrophobia. If you

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