new-york

Christopher Lucas

Jack Tilton Gallery

Recently I saw a documentary on PBS about a wonderful tribe in the Amazon which is holding its own against the Brazilians. The tribe knows what’s out there, they know they don’t want it, they are not optimistic about their survival, but they are still here. They hold off death through progress by practicing their rituals, playing their magic flutes, and constructing images of the gods and feeding them.

The narrator of the documentary said that the gods were angered if their images weren’t fed, and I began wondering about all the unfed gods—their feeders dead, their images fallen into the hands of curators and decorators. Are they angry about their magic flutes being kept in glass cases, about their unwhirled bull-roarers? Christopher Lucas’ show reminded me of this fetish problem. His pieces are like remedial fetishes, corrective idols, icons of refuge for the displaced divinities. There

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