Three plastic liters of off-brand pop sit on a table next to two stacks of plastic cups and a bowl of ice. That black-and-white photo welcomes us to Jenny Walters’ party, where we get to see images of bound flowerless stalks and rolled fabric bundled tourniquet fashion around an upright vacuum cleaner, and color portraits of women of various ages, all of whom exude an air of distance, self-enclosure and alienation. As old-school feminism makes a comeback this season, Walters offers a particularly excruciating variation on the theme, introducing us to all the lonely people, whether they stand before us dolefully with an arm in a sling or hold tightly a “reborn” doll (“lifelike” simulation of a baby) with mildly distressed tenderness. Walters is not issuing a call to action; she is making a plea that we understand and feel what it means to be trapped in life, as we all are, regardless of gender. Open the pop and take a swig; it is Walters’ brand of aqua vita. (Michael Weinstein)
Through June 13 at Green Lantern Gallery, 1511 N. Milwaukee.