Amy Yao’s curious exhibition at Various Small Fires starts in the gallery’s outdoor courtyard where a black, snail-like device sits atop an oil drum. The gallerist tells me it is a foam-maker, and would I like him to make me some foam?
Of course I say yes, and the device’s drooping black tube springs to life, spewing a torrent of frothy soap bubbles that accumulate on the gravel-like snow. It’s wonderful and ridiculous and just feels wrong, this needless spewing of cleaning product. As it seeps into the ground, I feel a little guilty.
And did I mention that the room is littered with cast rubber brains and bones?
In the rear gallery, a diffuser issues a familiar scent: burning plastic. That must be the smell of plastic rice cooking, or art in the age of cancer.
Various Small Fires, 812 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles, (310) 426-8040, through March 5. Closed Sundays and Mondays. www.vsf.la
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