Nayland Blake creates performances, videos, sculptures, and drawings that complicate notions of cultural and sexual identity with intellectual rigor and disarming humor. Blake’s performance-based works are often displayed though video; they include works such as Gorge, a documentation of the artist being continually fed for sixty minutes, or Starting Over, in which Blake tries to perform a simple dance in a tremendously heavy bunny suit. In both — and in much of Blake’s other work — the divide between care and punishment becomes blurred as the intricacies of nurturing, intimacy, and submission are exposed. The sculptural installations and performances on view in Some Kind of Love revealed the wide range of Blake’s interests, including imagery from popular culture, the queer body and Camp sensibility, erotic and psychoanalytic texts, and the toxic legacy of American racism.
Through recurring symbolic motifs (which include bunnies, marionettes, fairy tales, and white and dark chocolate, among others), Blake’s projects dealt with the construction of identity as a compound process, and questioned the reliability of predetermined categories of identity.
An 80 page full-color catalogue is available, including an interview with Nayland Blake by Ian Berry and an essay by David Deitcher.