Françoise Quardon

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Nantes

With its constellations of tentacled playpens, prophylactic umbrellas, sacred-heart menorahs, and levitating bathtubs suspended under the dome of a 19th-century chapel-turned-gallery, Françoise Quardon’s Take me to the river (all works 1993) does not simply mirror our fin-demillenium, but ultimately lures us into taking a hard look at our own reflections.

Like her earlier works, the seven pieces that make up Take me to the river are assembled from found objects, but with this installation Quardon has begun to combine her collectibles with forms that she herself fabricates out of fiberglass, resin, and chicken wire. The result is a latter-day Alice in Wonderland that has lost none of its wonder and all of its innocence. At the edge of the choir, a pair of translucent phantoms dubbed Ghost and (his) Brother hover in the semidarkness like supernatural gatekeepers. Ghost broadcasts a maddeningly

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