Bunny Rogers

SOCIÉTÉ
Genthiner Strasse 36
July 24–September 21

Bunny Rogers, Clone State Bookcase, 2014, mixed media, 97 x 121 1/2 x 24”.

In her latest exhibition, “Columbine Library,” Bunny Rogers refers to the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. Dark subjects aren’t new for Rogers: Themes such as lost innocence, angst at the end of childhood, and untimely death frequently inhabit her practice, in which she navigates chat rooms, gaming communities, and other online activities designed for but not exclusively used by prepubescent girls. Her own preteen obsessions, particularly with Neopets, often appear in her work—cutiefied artifacts from a life lived online.

Clone State Bookcase (all works 2014), a replica of a Columbine High bookcase, is stocked with plush dolls of singer-songwriter Elliott Smith, the tormented musician who succumbed to addiction and depression in 2003. Black ribbons embossed with an image of a bull are draped from the shelves (Smith had a Ferdinand the Bull tattoo on his arm). Opposite, Clone State Chairs features two velvet backpacks bearing cartoon characters—Joan of Arc of Clone High and Gaz of Invader Zim—on two chairs joined at an angle. Seven vestiges in Self Portraits on a wall cast the artist as a digital character.

A video installation spread across two rooms shows a digital animation of Joan of Arc and Gaz in the reimagined loci of the massacre, the high school’s library and cafeteria, reading from Rogers’s collected poems, Cunny Poem Vol. 1, dubbed in her own sticky, affectless voice. The net of references to Rogers’s universe of motifs (wilted flowers, ribbons, joint chairs, fan articles) can intrigue or alienate. We’ve entered a stage where the performance is always on, fusing online and IRL, and coalescing meticulous theatrics with crushing candor.

Hili Perlson