“Desiree Holman: Reborn”

Pub date May 5, 2009
SectionArts & CultureSectionVisual Art

REVIEW It’s time to dance — to sashay from the video installation within Nick Cave’s "Meet Me at the Center of the Earth" at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to the video aspect of Desirée Holman’s part of the SECA exhibition, now in its last days at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. To hustle between the two is revealing. Not only do Cave and Holman share an irreverent interest in choreography and the unity or community that can spring from mutual movement, they also devote considerable creative energy to costuming. Most compelling of all, these strange kin tap into and surrealistically subvert (in Holman’s case) or explode (in Cave’s instance) conventions regarding race relations in the early Obama era. Think about it. Dance to this.

Closer to the Tenderloin at Jessica Silverman Gallery, Holman turns her attention to the feminine and maternal in "Reborn," a solo show that, much like her SFMOMA contribution, mixes drawings, mask-making (or more precisely here, doll-making), and video involving choreography. Holman’s drawings for the exhibition are as sickly they are lovely — a woman’s split ends take on a windswept weeping willow quality. In the alluring yet disgusting series of images, milk spills from mothers’ mouths as they nurse unsettlingly complacent babies. The video Reborn, nestled perversely in the cement block back room — or should I say back womb? — of Silverman Gallery, mines comedy and the type of incipient frustration that can grow into rage. It does so via games of duck-duck-goose, hummed lullabies, and the occasional bedazzled burka.


Through May 30. Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Silverman Gallery, 804 Sutter, SF. (415) 255-9508. www.silverman-gallery.com