Chris Curreri’s work is premised on the idea that we constantly contend with things outside of ourselves—perhaps most crucially, with other people. These relationships create a network, a fabric within which we are enmeshed. To what extent, then, do we open up or close ourselves off from this network? Through photography and sculpture, The Ventriloquist constructs allegories for this question.
The exhibition’s central sculpture, Christopher, takes the form of a hand puppet enlarged to human scale. Its limp body hangs in anticipation of the hand that will enter it, highlighting the fact that the boundaries of our bodies are defined by orifices: in speaking, our mouth is the orifice through which we manifest ourselves in the world; in hearing, our ears are the holes through which the world impinges itself on us. Our bodily porousness enables us, but also renders us vulnerable. To be a body is to be penetrated.
An accompanying suite of photographs, titled Insomniac, depicts the innards of various animals. Their wet fullness contrasts with the puppet’s dry hollowness. The spillage of guts implies a violent overflow from inside to outside, a transgression of borders that points to messy interrelations and complicates the puppet’s neutrality.