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"ODO": Lutz Bacher at Ratio 3 

Wednesday, Nov 12 2008

Lutz Bacher is a pseudonym, and it's a good one because it's fun to say. That's important, because her installation shows are intriguing and varied, causing viewers to ask, "What does Lutz Bacher mean by this?" or "Did Lutz Bacher mean for this ladder to be here?" The Berkeley-based artist's current exhibit, "ODO," is scaled more modestly than some of her previous work, but it continues her exploration of identity, popular culture, and appropriation. Hundreds of photo prints and collages line the walls in a dizzying horizontal band, including some familiar faces — Bart Simpson, Jim Morrison — layered by projected slide images and text. On one wall, a projector casts handwritten names. The more you look at the barrage of pop culture images, the more you become queasy with overstimulation. Santa, prom dresses, puppies, apples, Jesus, naked asses ... and then there's the plastic-wrapped life-size golem lying in what appears to be a storage room. Even the show's press release, which was simply a recipe for butterscotch pudding, reads as a commentary on commercialization: Stir it all together, and you get beige-colored sweetness that'll give you a stomachache. Lutz Bacher inoculates.

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Traci Vogel


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