“The 1950s were still very present,” remarked Sadie Benning of their 1970s childhood. “Whatever happens in the moment, it’s like a ripple effect. Something happens politically that affects people for many generations.” Gun/Egg, 2017, a triptych on display in Benning’s solo presentation at Susanne Vielmetter, subtly illustrates this point. In the work’s photograph-within-a-photograph that the artist inserted into a colorful painted wooden construction, a small black-and-white photo of a girl (who bares her teeth with the awkward vigor of someone who has been compelled to “smile BIG!”) is casually propped on the floor against a larger, ’50s-era color promotional photo of Elvis. The King appears in left profile, hands clasped together as if in prayer. The photograph is nestled within the leftmost panel of the triptych, whose blocky forms suggest a basic linear, cinematic narrativea
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