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Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Salamander, 2017, latex, paper, cardboard, papier-mâché, foam padding, plastic, Dutch metal, metal stand, 64 1/4 x 60 5/8 x 61". Photo: Gregor Staiger.

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd

Gregor Staiger

Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Salamander, 2017, latex, paper, cardboard, papier-mâché, foam padding, plastic, Dutch metal, metal stand, 64 1/4 x 60 5/8 x 61". Photo: Gregor Staiger.

Even when a performance has not yet taken place, when Marvin Gaye Chetwynd has not conducted some Walpurgisnacht in the gallery, when no one has been chained to a latex double of Jabba the Hutt or done a banshee dance half-naked or otherwise worked themselves up into a transformative, ecstatic frenzy—even when the surfaces are innocent of blood or sperm or body paint—her artworks still reverberate with arcane energy. In “The Stagnant Pool,” in which she converted a single room into a stage set for a potential performance, Chetwynd showed off her ability to animate her work through her powers of suggestion alone.

At the core of Chetwynd’s practice is an understanding of the ritual origins of art. Prior to her enrollment at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, she received a degree in anthropology at University College London, but felt she could never really reconcile

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