Psyche & Smut Lives

March 4 - April 2, 2011


Salomon Contemporary presents Psyche & Smut Lives, a solo exhibition of allegorical photographs and sculpture by Meghan Boody. Featuring Psyche & Smut, a recreation of the 2000 series, the exhibition displays multi-layered images that tell a story of psychic transmutation through digital composites. Boody transforms the gallery into a colorful wonderland, accompanied by her Glass Worlds, precarious miniatures in bell jars all invoking landmarks on the perilous path towards self-awareness.

Drawing parallels to a rabbit hole scenario, Psyche is a little girl from bourgeois society who finds herself in an alternative world ruled by frogs, their concubines, and her deviant twin, Smut. The desire and loathing that the pre-pubescent Psyche harbors for her errant alter ego unravels as the series progresses. The ingredients gradually boil together as each successive picture amplifies the tension and risk in navigating the terrain of rebirth and realizing the mature self.

Boody incorporates her own verse in each piece, enabling the viewer to follow the series of events that occur in her underworld. The singsong rhymes contradict the erotic language describing Psyche's progressive loss of innocence. Using drugs and dressing up beyond her years represent Psyche's coming of age, as she casts away "the days of her pinafored primness" in this unabashedly literary narrative. Another layer is evident in the translucent cast acrylic frames, which include shape-shifting, mythical beasts sculpted in relief and arranged around each image like gargoyles or attentive gatekeepers.

Meghan Boody grew up in NYC and received a B.A. from Georgetown University in philosophy and French. She apprenticed with the photographer, Hans Namuth, for three years. Her work is shown widely in galleries and museums internationally and is in important collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University. Boody is currently a Sony World Photography Award finalist for The Lighthouse and How She Got There, her ongoing series about a child orphan adrift in a nineteenth century Dickensian world. She is known as one of the first photographers to successfully integrate digital technologies into her work.

Psyche & Smut Lives runs concurrently with Meghan Boody's The Lighthouse II: Visitation at Affirmation Arts, New York, 1 March - 2 April 2011. The Lighthouse II: Visitation will then travel to Galerie Caprice Horn, Berlin and open on 29 April 2011.