Crochet can be an odd thing. For some, it's associated with the mundane -- a grandmother crafting a blanket on a gloomy afternoon. Yet, in certain occasions, when removed from its typical habitat, crochet transforms from a banal household craft to a strange and bodily material. It drips and hangs like flesh off the bone, still retaining the elegance of lace and the comforts associated with the home.
Mandy Greer channels crochet in all its many impressions in her nightmarishly beautiful exhibition "The Ecstatic Moment." The show, taking place at the Hudson River Museum, was inspired in part by the Museum's adjacent Victorian river home, Glenview. The space, an artifact of Yonkers' previous life as an escape for the upper class, struck something within Greer. This exhibition is, in part, her response to this frozen relic of a time that has, for the most part, passed us by.
It also addresses the strange way a single moment, no different in essence than the monotonous ones before or after, has the potential to be rapturous.
"Much of what I’m after in my work is to capture a rapturous moment, when a river of our inner life spills out of us like blood, milk or every-growing hair," Greer expressed in a statement. This simile is made flesh in her enchanting exhibition, in which turkey vultures roam the premises, mannequins flaunt ghoulish haute couture and a volcano of birds erupts. Through a dizzying combination of photography, crocheting, sewing, video and Victorian objects, Greer conjures a space that's utterly surreal, yet made of familiar scraps.
The exhibition, located right off the Hudson River, channels the liquid surroundings throughout the interior. "Her crochet, like water, is malleable, taking different forms and filling different vessels," the museum explains. Water, milk, lava and blood mingle with the more solid materials -- scrap fabric, found objects, skin, bones, statues and stars. Just as the most simplistic of materials can create a fantastical vision, so Greer transforms a museum space into an alternate underworld.
'Mandy Greer: The Ecstatic Moment' runs until September 14, 2014 at the Hudson River Museum.