Fin Simonetti, “Pledge”
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The wages of masculinity (a propensity towards dominance, violence and sexual aggression) are given surprisingly empathetic treatment in Canadian artist Fin Simonetti’s latest exhibition. The titular centerpiece installation comprises a winding, welded-steel railing topped with a series of small, widely-spaced alabaster sculptures depicting an odd assortment of objects: A fire extinguisher, a pair of lion claws, a flaccid penis, some cartoonish candles and so on. The contrast of materials—brittle stone precariously perched on unyielding metal—suggest these items may be talismans for the notorious fragility of the male ego, though they may also conjure familial associations given that Simonetti only began to carve stone after her father’s death. The piece is presented alongside others, including a video of weightlifters grimacing through the clean and jerk.