Through her installations, immersive environments and video projections, Saya Woolfalk expounds on the fictional material culture of the equally fictional Empathics, a female species genetically flexible enough to merge with plants. Like the Chitra Ganesh’s 27 linocuts for Sultana’s Dream (2018–19, reviewed elsewhere in this issue), Woolfalk’s work posits an alternate reality in which familiar patriarchal hierarchies are ruptured in ways that appear sumptuous rather than scary. But where Ganesh uses the graphic linearity of manga and comics, Woolfalk’s visual language is one of wacky decorative accretion. It’s as if every craft kit at Michael’s—silk-painting, sewing, woodworking, glass-painting, gilding—had been put into the hands of a particularly brilliant ten-year-old.
Saya Woolfalk, Encyclopedia of Cloud Divination (Plate 1–3) (2018)
- Three prints comibining archival inkjet, screenprint, silver leaf and collage, 40 x 30 inches (image), 44 x 34 inches (paper). Edition of 14. Printed and published by Lower East Side Printshop, New York. $4,000 each unframed; $4,750 each framed.