Photoshopped images of Ian Curtis, Kraftwork, Gudrun Ensslin and other seventies stars of gritty rock reality sport glitter, foil and other bling at "We were strangers for too long", Meredyth Sparks' first solo show at New York's Elizabeth Dee gallery. The slice of the seventies that Sparks idealizes is the one that the Tennessee-born artist sees not just as glam, but that stands as "a bellwether point of resistance".
To drive her point home, Sparks has created a wall installation inspired by the radical life and questionable death of Andreas Baader, head of the militant left-wing West German Red Army Faction (RAF) movement. Baader's name is not only notorious for his group's misdeeds. It also arises as the "Baader-Meinhoff phenomenon" in which, right after one discovers an esoteric fact or phrase, it seems to keep popping up everywhere. Spark's particular pop-culture fixations might be idiosyncratic and quirky, but she makes them so bright that we want to look and look again.
"We were strangers for too long" is on at the Elizabeth Dee gallery until October 11.