Mai-Thu Perret

Galerie Barbara Weiss

Je est un autre” (I Is Somebody Else), Arthur Rimbaud once declared. But what if Rimbaud’s “I” were a group of women—a band of disgruntled urbanites who have abandoned their Palm Pilots to live an unscheduled life in the desert? Mai-Thu Perret explores this possibility with “The Crystal Frontier,” an ongoing project about a fictional all-female commune in New Mexico whose inhabitants raise chickens, cows, horses, and rabbits. Since 1999, Perret has been writing the story of this utopian community and creating curious objects that might be its artifacts, prototypes, props, or tools.

The tale’s latest installation installment, “Apocalypse Ballet,” takes its cue from J. J. Grandville’s 1844 wood engraving Apocalypse du ballet. In his vision of the performance, feet become legs, a dancer, and then a spinning spool of thread, all cheered on by an audience of wine-glasses, lobster claws, and

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