Monday, October 7, 2013

Cara Phillips, Singular Beauty @ Station Independent Projects

A testimonial for Kickstarter, at some point, someone asked me to back Cara Phillips’s Kickstarter campaign to fund the printing of her book of interiors of plastic surgeon offices. I liked the pictures, so I gave enough to receive a book, which, as off-putting as a Kickstarter request can be, I find it is a wonderful way to buy books I like. I get a book, and in the process, the thing gets made. Win, win. Even more beneficial, I find myself a little bit more invested in work by people I’m interested in like Cara Phillips. I was psyched to see the pictures in the gallery. The show at Station Independent Projects is a nice selection that focuses on the alien sci-fi like settings and the mysterious machines used to augment peoples’ appearance. I am sure lots of plastic surgeons do wonderful work helping burn victims, vasectomy patients and children with birth defects, but I have a hard time not associating plastic surgery with affluent people turning themselves into an odd approximation of beauty. Phillips’s pictures of clean modernist operating rooms with paintings and expensive-looking furniture does little to dissuade my animosity. The cold plastic machines of inexplicable function, standing against clean medical walls, do tend to confirm plastic surgery as an affront to nature. There is little in the show to let on that the pictures aren’t from an alien spacecraft whose mission is to examine and probe unsuspecting humans. There are some rough drawings of breasts on a notepad that hint at the human folly of the whole endeavor, but mostly the pictures look like the laboratory of an evil scientist in a Bond movie.

Through Oct. 13th


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