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Soap Factory exhibits political, provocative works [NSFW]

Works by Guo Gai

Works by Guo Gai

The Soap Factory's current show, "Three Artists: Guo Gai, Meng Tang, Slinko," is a provocative and lively exhibition that is both thought provoking and engaging. Political, humorous, and at times titillating, the works challenge the viewer to think about roles that culture, society, and government play in our everyday lives.   [jump]

The first room that guests enter contains the work of Guo Gai, a Chinese photographer, curator, critic, and conceptual artist based in Beijing, China. Nude and partially clad women are shown in photographs getting poked, prodded, and tied up in several series.  
Another Tang piece Land of the Free includes an interactive sculptural map of China. Viewers are encouraged to write messages and place them at different locations throughout the country, where red flags are staked. Notes that people have written include "Free Tibet," and "Please overcome materialism soon."  

Finally, Slinko, whose work contains an impish humor, presents a number of various media artworks varying from video, to sculpture, to prints. The video work, which includes footage of a young woman slathering herself in mud and several minutes of bricks and rocks floating in the sea, seems purposefully provocative and also surreal. The artist has an appropriately titled piece called Crowd Pleaser which is basically a humongous beard. There's also a very curious sculpture of a podium with a shoe that taps consistently on top, powered by some sort of gear mechanism, with tin cans at the bottom. Slinko's work is playful and ingenious, and although it is the hardest to peg in terms of political message, it is the most memorable.  
In all, it's an excellent collection of work, so be sure to check it out. Gallery hours are on Thursday and Friday from 2 to 8 p.m.,
 and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.The exhibit runs through October 23.