Publication:

The Guardian Weekly - 2021-11-26

Data:

Charles Ray’s Family Romance

Culture Books

There is something deeply off about the Californian sculptor Charles Ray’s family of four. Holding hands in a line like anonymous paper dolls, they are a would-be parade of a cookie-cutter family, except they’re buck naked. The creepiest thing, though, is what Ray does with scale. The puppyish, pre-pubescent kids are as big – and as powerful – as Mom and Pop. While the title, from Freud, suggests Oedipal undercurrents or, most disturbingly, incest, Ray’s work makes broader points. In place of the conservative myth of the nuclear, patriarchal family we get skewed group dynamics and implicit struggle. Skye Sherwin

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