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Halcyon Days Catalogue
2000
BY
Jeffrey Kastner

For Michelle Lopez, the surface of things is a site of con­tention between image and identity, a place where shaping, inscription and decoration can mask, amplify or wholly transform what lies beneath. Her MetroTech project, Woadsonner, is part of an ongoing sculptural engagement with animal hide, often painstakingly formed around a basic mechanical understructure, in this case as mall sports car body. Formally Woadsonner is obviously related to her ear­lier projects like Boy (1999), a junked Honda she encased in aromatic beige leather. But the transformation Lopez so convincingly accomplishes this time, turning an undistin­guished found automotive chassis into a sensual sci-fi cruis­er that appears to have been co-designed by George Lucas and Chanel, also seems to unify several diverse aspects of her practice. It suggests the links between her most lyrical projects, like the marzipan encased rowboat of Posy—draped with breathtakingly delicate garlands of sugarpaste flowers—her wall-based hide"drawings," cut, scratched or otherwise manipulated with traditional leatherworking tools, and her elegantly combinatory photo montages. The swollen, over-upholstered roadster—half spaceship, half purse—is poised beneath a striped canopy on a platform, like the season's new model on display in a surreal automotive showroom. Evoking both the consumer desire associated with the car­as-object and the bodily desire aroused by the"skin" with which it is formed, Lopez's Woadsonner foregrounds the individual cravings that animate our collective appetites.