Raw Attraction

Chakaia Booker American

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Booker frequently uses preexisting, cast-off materials in her work, most distinctively the discarded rubber tires she salvages from city streets, auto-repair shops, and dumps. Raw Attraction highlights her ability to transform commonplace industrial materials into quasi-organic, bizarre, or threatening forms through intensive processes of cutting, sewing, shredding, and bending. This mound of sliced and gathered tire pieces takes on the look of feathers or scales covering an ambiguous hulking creature. Nestled in this mass are rows of curved rubber pieces that resemble a vulva, from which a sharp piece of steel protrudes. This jarring detail suggests the historical and literary conceit of the vagina dentata, or emasculating woman, a recurring motif of early twentieth-century Surrealism.

#2089. Raw Attraction

Raw Attraction, Chakaia Booker (American, born Newark, New Jersey, 1953), Rubber tire, steel, and wood

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