SEDUCE AND DESTROY: HANNAH LEVY’S DANGEROUS-LOOKING SCULPTURES [Art in America]

Combining fleshy silicone and spindly nickel-plated steel rods in strangely alluring ways, the sculptures in Hannah Levy’s show, “Pendulous Picnic,” suggested the elegant fantasies of a paraphiliac. Three dangerous-looking chandelierlike works hung in the main space. The first was shaped like a squid, with silicone gobs resembling rotting gourds impaled on its curling spike tentacles. The second work’s middle section was a gown of thin silicone stretched taut by dainty claws. The third looked like an upended parasol but with a nippled flotation device for a canopy. As I viewed these sculptures, I kept wanting to crawl under them and have someone cut the lusciously thick chains suspending them from the ceiling, so that I could be crushed. Indeed, the exhibition raised some thorny questions: How does art make danger seem erotic? When is it OK for us to be attracted to the things that hurt or destroy us?

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