[This article was originally published by Entropy on 31 October 2017]
Recessed in the small project room in the rear of the David B. Smith Gallery in downtown Denver, Laura Shill’s Separation Perfected resembles a makeshift altar that offers viewers an ambiguous, devotional experience in praise of smartphones and selfies.
Mounted atop an inconspicuous gray box and foregrounded against gold spandex drapery that parts in the fashion of a lancet arch, Separation Perfected’s cache of disembodied plaster hands each hold aloft a selfie stick. At the end of every apparatus, a gold-colored smartphone case inset with a laser-cut mirror faces outward.
The title of Shill’s installation offers the most evident point of entry for thinking about her piece. Separation Perfectedtakes its name from the first chapter of Guy Debord’s 1967 book The Society of the Spectacle. The book’s opening consists of thirty-four, enumerated paragraphs that expound upon a particular characteristic or quality related to the author’s concept of the spectacle.
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