Savage Art Resources, 1430 SE 3rd, through November 30
You and some friends are in a haze of TV viewing, flipping from game shows to soap operas. You pause on a nature program where a rabbit hops across the screen. Someone sighs about it being SO cute and then, suddenly, it is snatched in the jaws of a hidden trap. The bunny jerks wildly while some hunters appear from behind the camera, slitting its throat and laughing as they hoist its body up by the hind legs. Everyone in your living room winces and no one makes eye contact. You turn the channel and someone immediately begins talking about how they want to become a vegan.
This is the Bambi Effect: our adverse reaction to cute critters being harmed. Taking this wildlife management catch phrase as its title, Savage Art Resources' new exhibit seizes on the current obsession with adorable woodland creatures--one that is perhaps most evident at your local music store, where pastel-colored silhouettes of deer, bunnies, birds, and elk cover records by bands with names like Deerhoof, Animal Collective and Yellow Swans.
Anchoring the show is "It Produces Food and He Taketh Away," a drawing by Robyn O'Neil. A man in a black workout suit and Nikes stands in a snowy, tree-lined landscape while birds circle above in an ominous, cloudy sky. It's an eerie, yet somehow playful take on a man's disconnect with the nature around him--the nature he is, in fact, a part of despite his synthetic clothes. As the title implies, nature is often viewed by humanity as a source of food, but O'Neil's middle-age jogger also appears like an animal himself, one that has wandered out of its natural habitat into a strange, foreboding place.
There are number of other noteworthy pieces in the show, as well as Michelle Ross' unrelated painting project, "Haptic Loop," which is located in the back half of the gallery. Ross has combined painting and assemblage to create a line of texture and color that wraps around the room. It provides a soft, abstract detour from the taxidermy rabbits and stretched animal skin drawings of The Bambi Effect.