lauren kalman


But if the Crime is Beautiful...

Thank you to: Wayne State University, the Corporation of Yaddo, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, Millee Tibbs, Kipp Bradford, Ryan Standfest, Kevin Campbell, Kyle Dill, Cecilie Scoppa, and others

But if the Crime is Beautiful…

But if the Crime is Beautiful… consists of fabricated and found objects combined with the body to produce sculptural compositions. These sculptures are documented and exist as photographs. The objects used to make the compositions are installed among the sculpture/photographs as residue of the action.

The title of the project, But if the Crime is Beautiful…, as well as the series Composition with Ornament and Object, are derived from Adolf Loos’ 1910 lecture Ornament and Crime. With "but if the ornament is beautiful" he is quoting the naive (in his view) population’s defense of ornament as long as it is beautiful. His proposition is that ornament is regressive and primitive, that in (his) contemporary society only degenerates and criminals are decorated (this includes women). The “crime” in my work points not only to the decorated but also to deviant sexuality and female sexuality, especially 19th and early 20th century constructions, from which our current understanding of sexuality is built upon. Loos’ writings on architecture and functional art helped to define the principals of the Modern Architecture movement and eventually the Bauhaus. The influence of these movements permeates the contemporary built environment and therefore impacts our psychological and bodily relationship to space and objects.

Catalog available

Interview at Art Jewelry Forum

Review at Art Jewelry Forum

Composition with Ornament and ObjectComposition_with_Ornament.html
Strangers to the GardenStrangers_to_the_Garden.html
Museum of Arts and DesignMuseum_of_Arts_and_Design.html