annandale-hudson

View of “Consider the Lobster,” 2009, CCS Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Foreground: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 2007. Middleground: The Eagle Has Landed, 2006. Background: Car Stereo Parkway, 2005. Photo: Jason Mandella.

Rachel Harrison

CCS Bard Hessel Museum

View of “Consider the Lobster,” 2009, CCS Galleries, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Foreground: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 2007. Middleground: The Eagle Has Landed, 2006. Background: Car Stereo Parkway, 2005. Photo: Jason Mandella.

RACHEL HARRISON HAS A FLAIR FOR TITLES, even when borrowed, as in the case of her current midcareer survey, “Consider the Lobster.” The name comes from a collection of David Foster Wallace’s magazine articles, one of which finds the author at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, pondering the “morality” of the American ritual of lobster boiling. Harrison’s choice of title is explicitly referenced near the entrance to a companion exhibition with a projection of László Moholy-Nagy’s 1936 film Lobsters, but it’s worth considering how this “garbage man” of the sea, to borrow Wallace’s epithet, might relate more obliquely to her formal and conceptual practices. Does she mean to address American pastimes (like lobster festivals) in general, seemingly benign activities that sometimes willfully obscure cruelty? Is Harrison evoking the apparently ungainly movements of this crustacean? Does

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