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  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015       
  
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    Elana Webb takes the tension between her own Midwestern Americanism and an attraction to the concept of the tropical and foreign  paradise , and seeks to tease out the complexities of iconography and social meaning within this space.     By using unforgiving materials whose backgrounds are rooted in labor, Webb teases out issues of frailty within large-scale commercial construction projects that are marketed as extraordinary. Her resulting work is expressly delicate, sensual, and sometimes violent. Webb modernizes the meaning that paradise evokes, combining natural dreamscapes with manufactured ideas of the  built.        Her installation includes a dark resin pool in the outline of the slowly sinking Palm Jumeirah Islands, Dubai, flanked by plastic curtains with looming images of stingrays, barracudas, and skeletal beachgoers. The human-made archipelago of the Palm Jumeirah, fantastic in scope, creates an ersatz utopia based on immigrant labor and class segregation. In other work, she uses still life imagery in conjunction with industrial materials; in her recent installation  Utopic No. 1 , she brings together marble, plastic pillars, a fabric egg, and a grapefruit, all teetering on six tons of dune-like gravel. Pierced from behind, the epicene foods float above a pedestal of classic architecture, both elevated and precarious.       Also seen in Webb’s work is an interest in human-made substitutes for natural environments taken to extremes, as seen in the case of the Palm Jumeirah. Inherent in this particular fabricated  paradise  are myriad underlying problems, ranging from cheap migrant labor and dangerous practices to a stagnant marine ecology. Notably, however, the image of the Jumeirah takes precedence: the ultimate paradisiacal symbol of the palm, ostensibly visible from the moon (yet visually unextraordinary on the ground), serves as both brilliant marketing tool and potent picture of fraught, constructed paradise.

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

 

Elana Webb takes the tension between her own Midwestern Americanism and an attraction to the concept of the tropical and foreign paradise, and seeks to tease out the complexities of iconography and social meaning within this space.

 

By using unforgiving materials whose backgrounds are rooted in labor, Webb teases out issues of frailty within large-scale commercial construction projects that are marketed as extraordinary. Her resulting work is expressly delicate, sensual, and sometimes violent. Webb modernizes the meaning that paradise evokes, combining natural dreamscapes with manufactured ideas of the built.  

 

Her installation includes a dark resin pool in the outline of the slowly sinking Palm Jumeirah Islands, Dubai, flanked by plastic curtains with looming images of stingrays, barracudas, and skeletal beachgoers. The human-made archipelago of the Palm Jumeirah, fantastic in scope, creates an ersatz utopia based on immigrant labor and class segregation. In other work, she uses still life imagery in conjunction with industrial materials; in her recent installation Utopic No. 1, she brings together marble, plastic pillars, a fabric egg, and a grapefruit, all teetering on six tons of dune-like gravel. Pierced from behind, the epicene foods float above a pedestal of classic architecture, both elevated and precarious.  

 

Also seen in Webb’s work is an interest in human-made substitutes for natural environments taken to extremes, as seen in the case of the Palm Jumeirah. Inherent in this particular fabricated paradise are myriad underlying problems, ranging from cheap migrant labor and dangerous practices to a stagnant marine ecology. Notably, however, the image of the Jumeirah takes precedence: the ultimate paradisiacal symbol of the palm, ostensibly visible from the moon (yet visually unextraordinary on the ground), serves as both brilliant marketing tool and potent picture of fraught, constructed paradise.

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015      In the same gallery, Elana Webb's 'Palm Jumeirah' recreates the man-made Dubai island in resin poured into gouged foam. It's laid out like a ceremonial buffet with casts of fruit, giving the arrangement an aura of sickly sweet decadence like the smell of an overripe banana. The resin almost even looks like that raspberry jam in the center of thumbprint cookies. The table is flanked by ceiling-height translucent tarps that have been sparsely painted with surrealist allusions to construction tools, the beach, and abstract shapes that could read as either sensual or threatening. Overall, the installation is strangely seductive and not quite right at the same time—a fitting wake for a controversial, flashy, sinking engineering folly in an emirate known for conspicuous consumption and grave human rights abuses (especially in the construction industry). A lot has been said about Dubai's contradictions and artifice in the contemporary art world, but I'm not sure anyone has ever said it as weirdly as this piece.

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

 

In the same gallery, Elana Webb's 'Palm Jumeirah' recreates the man-made Dubai island in resin poured into gouged foam. It's laid out like a ceremonial buffet with casts of fruit, giving the arrangement an aura of sickly sweet decadence like the smell of an overripe banana. The resin almost even looks like that raspberry jam in the center of thumbprint cookies. The table is flanked by ceiling-height translucent tarps that have been sparsely painted with surrealist allusions to construction tools, the beach, and abstract shapes that could read as either sensual or threatening. Overall, the installation is strangely seductive and not quite right at the same time—a fitting wake for a controversial, flashy, sinking engineering folly in an emirate known for conspicuous consumption and grave human rights abuses (especially in the construction industry). A lot has been said about Dubai's contradictions and artifice in the contemporary art world, but I'm not sure anyone has ever said it as weirdly as this piece.

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

 

Elana Webb takes the tension between her own Midwestern Americanism and an attraction to the concept of the tropical and foreign paradise, and seeks to tease out the complexities of iconography and social meaning within this space.

 

By using unforgiving materials whose backgrounds are rooted in labor, Webb teases out issues of frailty within large-scale commercial construction projects that are marketed as extraordinary. Her resulting work is expressly delicate, sensual, and sometimes violent. Webb modernizes the meaning that paradise evokes, combining natural dreamscapes with manufactured ideas of the built.  

 

Her installation includes a dark resin pool in the outline of the slowly sinking Palm Jumeirah Islands, Dubai, flanked by plastic curtains with looming images of stingrays, barracudas, and skeletal beachgoers. The human-made archipelago of the Palm Jumeirah, fantastic in scope, creates an ersatz utopia based on immigrant labor and class segregation. In other work, she uses still life imagery in conjunction with industrial materials; in her recent installation Utopic No. 1, she brings together marble, plastic pillars, a fabric egg, and a grapefruit, all teetering on six tons of dune-like gravel. Pierced from behind, the epicene foods float above a pedestal of classic architecture, both elevated and precarious.  

 

Also seen in Webb’s work is an interest in human-made substitutes for natural environments taken to extremes, as seen in the case of the Palm Jumeirah. Inherent in this particular fabricated paradise are myriad underlying problems, ranging from cheap migrant labor and dangerous practices to a stagnant marine ecology. Notably, however, the image of the Jumeirah takes precedence: the ultimate paradisiacal symbol of the palm, ostensibly visible from the moon (yet visually unextraordinary on the ground), serves as both brilliant marketing tool and potent picture of fraught, constructed paradise.

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

 

In the same gallery, Elana Webb's 'Palm Jumeirah' recreates the man-made Dubai island in resin poured into gouged foam. It's laid out like a ceremonial buffet with casts of fruit, giving the arrangement an aura of sickly sweet decadence like the smell of an overripe banana. The resin almost even looks like that raspberry jam in the center of thumbprint cookies. The table is flanked by ceiling-height translucent tarps that have been sparsely painted with surrealist allusions to construction tools, the beach, and abstract shapes that could read as either sensual or threatening. Overall, the installation is strangely seductive and not quite right at the same time—a fitting wake for a controversial, flashy, sinking engineering folly in an emirate known for conspicuous consumption and grave human rights abuses (especially in the construction industry). A lot has been said about Dubai's contradictions and artifice in the contemporary art world, but I'm not sure anyone has ever said it as weirdly as this piece.

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

Palm Jumeirah

foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete

8' x 8' x 6'

2015

  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015       
  
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 0 
 1 
 290 
 1653 
 WWU 
 13 
 3 
 1940 
 14.0 
  
  
 
  
    
  
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 JA 
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    Elana Webb takes the tension between her own Midwestern Americanism and an attraction to the concept of the tropical and foreign  paradise , and seeks to tease out the complexities of iconography and social meaning within this space.     By using unforgiving materials whose backgrounds are rooted in labor, Webb teases out issues of frailty within large-scale commercial construction projects that are marketed as extraordinary. Her resulting work is expressly delicate, sensual, and sometimes violent. Webb modernizes the meaning that paradise evokes, combining natural dreamscapes with manufactured ideas of the  built.        Her installation includes a dark resin pool in the outline of the slowly sinking Palm Jumeirah Islands, Dubai, flanked by plastic curtains with looming images of stingrays, barracudas, and skeletal beachgoers. The human-made archipelago of the Palm Jumeirah, fantastic in scope, creates an ersatz utopia based on immigrant labor and class segregation. In other work, she uses still life imagery in conjunction with industrial materials; in her recent installation  Utopic No. 1 , she brings together marble, plastic pillars, a fabric egg, and a grapefruit, all teetering on six tons of dune-like gravel. Pierced from behind, the epicene foods float above a pedestal of classic architecture, both elevated and precarious.       Also seen in Webb’s work is an interest in human-made substitutes for natural environments taken to extremes, as seen in the case of the Palm Jumeirah. Inherent in this particular fabricated  paradise  are myriad underlying problems, ranging from cheap migrant labor and dangerous practices to a stagnant marine ecology. Notably, however, the image of the Jumeirah takes precedence: the ultimate paradisiacal symbol of the palm, ostensibly visible from the moon (yet visually unextraordinary on the ground), serves as both brilliant marketing tool and potent picture of fraught, constructed paradise.
  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015      In the same gallery, Elana Webb's 'Palm Jumeirah' recreates the man-made Dubai island in resin poured into gouged foam. It's laid out like a ceremonial buffet with casts of fruit, giving the arrangement an aura of sickly sweet decadence like the smell of an overripe banana. The resin almost even looks like that raspberry jam in the center of thumbprint cookies. The table is flanked by ceiling-height translucent tarps that have been sparsely painted with surrealist allusions to construction tools, the beach, and abstract shapes that could read as either sensual or threatening. Overall, the installation is strangely seductive and not quite right at the same time—a fitting wake for a controversial, flashy, sinking engineering folly in an emirate known for conspicuous consumption and grave human rights abuses (especially in the construction industry). A lot has been said about Dubai's contradictions and artifice in the contemporary art world, but I'm not sure anyone has ever said it as weirdly as this piece.
  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015
  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015
  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015
  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015
  Palm Jumeirah   foam, resin, plastic, steel, wood, latex paint, putty, concrete  8' x 8' x 6'  2015