Philadelphia Weekly Reviews The Sleep of Reason
Another great review for the Ryan Wilson Kelly exhibition The Sleep of Reason.
In this piece, Katherine Rochester not only captures the essence of the performance, the sets, and the props, but what was at the heart of Kelly’s idea.
An excerpt from the review that does this:
The Sleep of Reason, a collaborative endeavor between Kelly and curator Jordan Rockford, uses Cope’s recurring nightmare as an allegory for the cyclical futility of the creative process. “There’s that sense of anti-climax and, of course, that sense of a solitary endeavor,” says Rockford, gesturing around the set in which Kelly has just performed an approximate re-enactment of Cope’s last few hours. The design is at once baroque and ingeniously simple. Large sheets of cloth (canvas tarps from Home Depot) hang over each gallery wall, exquisitely illustrated to suggest the cluttered shelves of Cope’s study at 21st and Pine streets; unidentified but undeniably ancient shards of bone (painted wood putty) litter the floor; and slimy specimens (Styrofoam dipped in wax) languish in large glass jars. Red-velvet curtains and a single scansion separate the performance space from the audience, creating the sensation of a museum display come to life.