Edie Fake is our preeminent architect, conjuring uncanny edifices, queer space cathedrals, from the atmosphere like Elsa, but now, from a high dry desert—raised and razed, but not a barren valley. Those talents have been turned to the assemblage of structures more intimate: those of the anatomy, which constitutes an outsize portion of our identity, internal and out. Couched in the language and forms of architecture, Fake creates temples of and to the body, codified and protected via pattern and line and as indomitable as the buildings that inform them and as reflective of private ipseity as an interior design. Rigid lines abut gentle waves and sharp processes, a constant, harmonious clash between states; pattern and color turning genitalia into objects; structures-cum-structures, atomized and reconstituted in chocolate mink, salmon, abyssal black and tarnished gold, in flesh, blood and water, parts hidden in, surrounded by and in relation with pinwheels and striped piles, diamonds, spheres and church pipes, Atari brick and quilted angles, and these prismatically pied disco balls whose light comes from within.
Vitrines and gates both call back to vaginas—the original font—and are receptive and protective, respectively; the biological underpinnings, striations and stingray ripples bond the cellular walls and the building elements as visual mortar and painted peritoneum. The sense of liminal space and slippery definition is ensconced and emboldened in the architecture, which carries across the obliques into the wall, or as in the depiction—sublimely lifted, an icon from some temple to Janus—of an IUD the composition of which looks phallic and female all at once. Great rolls of binders feel like industrial textile—how cruel!, how negligent the often ugly and utilitarian medicinal design of so important and vibrantly alive a garment like the binder; save us, Sky Cubacub’s creations—and ribbons of skin—sanguine spongey-red spine, bone, creamy adipose tissue, pallid fascia, hypoxic lapis—as they congregate but never tangle, the bolts of being instead holding the canvas and eye and thought in place.
Vast and busy as identity itself, the works are intimidating yet open, paintings as patients; in portraying the body as oecodomic, Fake proves that the corporeal is as constructed as any building. (B. David Zarley)
Edie Fake’s “Gut Rehab” shows through October 27 at Western Exhibitions, 1709 West Chicago. westernexhibitions.com/artist/edie-fake/