New York

Xavier Cha

Taxter & Spengemann

Over the past few years, Xavier Cha has developed a quasi-mythic reputation for her strange, nearly gauche, performances. In her exhibition “Holiday Cruise!” in 2006, for example, she appeared in several ways: lounging in an enormous cornucopia; as a deity called Polyhedra; and gyrating while wearing a full-body costume of hair braided in cornrows. Anyone expecting such lavishness in her recent exhibition would have been surprised by the chilly, detached tone, by the stark and minimal presentation and less over-the-top subjects. But most unexpectedly, she did not perform here herself, opting instead to hire a stand-in who arrived at the gallery at 4 PM, three days a week.

Installed in the first gallery were seven large photographs, each depicting a woman whose face is obscured by a beauty mask or a “peel,” and who is backdropped by digitally enhanced NASA satellite images of Saturn. The

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