otp: who's afraid of the big bad wolf


They accepted her into the fold without so much as a question, such was the power of their leader who made it known that amongst them a loner would move and aim to help provide stability in the creation of a stable.

The schematics for the building itself had been drawn up by a carpenter’s skilled hand, with directive from Lorilin as to the best situation for maximum efficiency and comfortable accommodations not just for horses but other mounts that may traverse through the growing township. Very few did her roughened tone grace, but her eyes lingered and seared faces into her memory box to later call upon should a situation arise.

It would be noted she wanted nothing to do with the leader himself and instead kept communications between errand boys who liked the exercise and feeling of importance.

Posts had already been set in the ground, packed with sawdust and a concrete paste to make sure it stayed stable in the moist earth. The twelve stalled building had rafters and the walls up already, the Gilneans efficient in their work as they all aimed to turn these misty woods into a home. Tank and Vane were kept picketed out near a stand of trees, close enough for her to keep a watchful eye on sire and offspring.

It must have been lunch time for the workers had fled for the time being, leaving Lorilin alone which was how she preferred it. Sweat started to drip down the side of her face and in a moment of frustration, the long sleeved layers were removed to leave her in work pants, steel toed boots, and a loose tank. For a moment she stood there, basking in the cool breeze and a smile touched her lips as she started to finish off the last pieces of the fence, fitting the final piece of timber into a notch where it was struck sturdy by a rough tap from her mallet. On little silent feet a small group of children came to inspect the happenings, climbing up to sit on the newly laid fence work that would make up a training and exercise ring leading straight from the stable.

A small giggle caused her to look up, a pair of eight eyes watching her work with fascination and curiosity. The warrior’s cheeks flushed, coughing slightly as she turned to walk away.

“ We brought you some lunch! “ Came a brave voice, a stocky little boy with a flop of red hair and a dusting of freckles, “ I got a bit hungry and may have eaten your apple… but the rest is still there!“

“ Is that so? “ Slowly she turned around to face the squad, leaning her mallet against a railing to stalk towards them. Hands rested on the tops of hips then, and there was a moment of silence as their little jaws dropped. It wasn’t until she looked down and realized that her mass of scars was visible, no longer hidden and open for the world to see; from wrists to neck inflicted by various weaponry over the years.

“ You aren’t gonna punish me…are you? “ It was a squeak, holding up the basket in offering. So off-guard did it catch her, that another chink in her armor fell away to be replaced by a gentling of her features.

“ I was thinking you’d make a nice replacement for the apple. Would you prefer to be boiled or baked? “ Tongue ran across a canine in her playfulness, watching as the little scrap’s eyes went dinner plate wide. The other three gasped and then giggled into their hands as their friend stuttered and tried to formulate a response.

Grinning, she reached into the basket and brought out a meat pasty, taking a bite of the pie. She blanched and tried her best not to stutter as her tooth struck something crunchy and hard.

“ Who made these? “ The roll of her voice trying to get past the grit in her teeth was trying for cordial, the lightness hard on her tongue and the beckoning smile felt like a weight on mouth usually caught in it’s usual plump unfeeling line.

“ We did! “ Chirped a blonde that had to be no older than eight, “ Mama said that it might be nice if someone did somethin’ for you. Since you are always alone and all.”

It was always easier for her to converse with little ones, “ Well, this is absolutely marvelous. How about we go surprise your mother and make -her- some meat pasties? My special ingredient is no eggshells.”

They all gasped and nodded, “ That is a great idea! “ “ Yes! We didn’t even think about leaving them out. “

Lorilin chuckled, pausing only momentarily to turn where her turtleneck waited slung over the fence but as she found her rough hands taken by much smaller own, the brawny fighter found herself herded towards the inner workings of the camp.

On Conceptual Sculpture

I read a sobering review by Roberta Smith, well known critic for the NY Times, on Adel Abdessemed’s solo show, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf” at the David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea. In this review she briefly highlights a few “of the cliches endemic in the Conceptually motivated realist sculpture.”

What’s been concerning me recently is the whole idea of Conceptual Sculpture–a vein of work I would tell you I work within.

Conceptual Sculpture is fundamentally confused, or at very least a paradox. As I understand it sculpture is about creating objects–where Conceptual Art, in its purest form, was a movement that aimed to move completely away, or beyond the art object.

I feel the problem with Conceptual Sculpture is this sort of drive to make work that functions on a didactic level. Many will tell you Conceptual Sculpture is about communication–it is about having an idea and executing it as Art Object, so the viewer can come to the piece and experience a point of view that the artist is offering. But the best of them, I’d argue, claim they are out to make works of Art that function on multiple levels. Sure the artist has their own intent, and sure it is important. But will this intent really matter in 100 years?

Roberta Smith claims Adel to be reductive–and in respect for her tenure and wisdom on such matters, I’m inclined to agree with her.

But isn’t this sort of sculpture something the art critics and historians over the years have created? Conceptual Sculpture is something that feeds off references from culture, art historical discourse, and the cannon. Conceptual Sculpture in many ways is a mode of producing art that raises the critic and historian as an integral part of the greater purpose of art. Conceptual sculptors are saying, there is a purpose, a meaning to my work–and I want you all to talk about it. And in this conversation, between the object and the critic/historian, cultural artifact is produced.

Should Roberta be praising Adel, saying, “Here is someone smart enough and in tune enough to unashamedly pinpoint and reproduce every hot cliche the international art market is supporting at this very moment, and shoving it right back in our faces.”

Maybe Adel is pointing out the worst of popular contemporary art. Maybe he isn’t. But, in light of Conceptual Sculpture, who can really be the judge? If it is Art that is supposed to function on multiple levels, maybe it’s Roberta who is being reductive.

Although I do not believe this to be the case, I do find it jarring to read her review. Short, terse and unflattering, it makes an unknown “Emerging Artist” like myself shiver and think: God I hope somebody hates my work enough one day to write about it. But damn, it’d be cooler if they dug it.

You can read her review here.

Adel Abdessemed

Hope, 2011-2012


i`m kinda nostalgic.


01. Adel Abdessemed, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, 2011-2012. Taxidermy, steel and wire.

02. Detail, Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

Adel Abdessemed (b. 1971) is an Algerian-born conceptual artist based in Paris. He works within a wide range of media, including drawing, video, photography, performance, and installation. His exhibition, “Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?” is currently on view at David Zwirner in Chelsea.

The namesake piece of the exhibition is inspired by Picasso’s Guernica (1937) and assembled from the scavenged remains of taxidermied animals.

(second image via Automaton, who is correct to point out if you come close, the sculpture smells really bad)


Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf- Disney