Saturday, January 27, 2018

Hellmouth at Macalester

The last time I saw a show by artist Ruthann Godollei, Donald Trump was not yet president, and her outrage at the campaign was a salve for my outrage and discomfort.

Now, more than a year since he won the Electoral College, her newest work continues with circus themes and adds the use of toys. The show, called Hellmouth, just opened at the gallery within Macalester College's studio art building in St. Paul.

The Hellmouth, as the accompanying text says, “is a medieval motif depicting the damned and the unrepentant swallowed by the gaping jaws of a demonic beast.” Trump is the Hellmouth, of course, in Godollei's work.

The show's catalog describes the Trump-head as “a particularly childlike demon. Sitting atop a cheery yellow circus wagon, Trump looks like a destructive toddler having a temper tantrum, upset because he never understood the responsibilities that came along with being president.”

He “breathes out non-truths in the form of 75 yards of billowing red ribbon, which twists and warps its shape the way Trump himself contorts facts into entertaining phrases…” Yes, the first words out of his mouth are “GREAT AGAIN.”

Be sure to check out the elephants pulling the yellow wagon. “This giant talking head could not get anywhere without being pulled around by the lesser elephants. Their flag reads ‘At Any Price.’”

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