Chicago

Justin Cooper

moniquemeloche

A wheelbarrow balancing on a seashell, giant plastic leis whirling in loops of color, folding chairs and garden hoses flying through the air—it’s a party all right, but frozen in place.

Such is the paradoxically festive yet static atmosphere of Justin Cooper’s second solo exhibition at moniquemeloche. Cooper—known for edgy, slapstick, and invariably manic performances that put objects acquired at Home Depot, the Party Store, and Offi ceMax to inspired misuse—here distills the animating, tension-building force of his live art into the still form of stand-alone sculpture.

No small task, that, coaxing life out of standard-issue garden implements, cheap party favors, and ugly office furnishings. But what a life! When inanimate objects come alive they apparently go to town, dancing the rumba, belting out songs, getting wasted and falling down plastered on the floor. In that hefty wheelbarrow we find

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