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Monthly Archives: November 2014

“The Collective,” Divided: A Review

*Lillian Li*

Don Lee’s prose is not pretty, or even particularly effortless in his novel. He tends towards wordy, didactic passages and heavy-handed, eye-rolling dialogue—one racist bar customer calls Eric a “Chinese wonton” (297). His characters remain characters, never fully embodying the human beings they wish to represent, and many seem to step in only to move the plot along or provoke an epiphany from the myopic narrator. But in failing to write movingly about ethnicity and/in art, Lee has also managed to succeed.

Julie Schenkelberg Builds Shipwrecks of Hope: “Symptomatic Constant”

Within the materials lies Schenkelberg’s remarkable talent for recapturing wonder. “Symptomatic Constant” is a massive work. It starts as rubble on the marble floor with plaster dust and shards of ceramic, resembling a shore of beach glass, then steadily the work grows up into the high space of the lobby’s ceiling with fabric draped to an old cast-iron heating register. Schenkelberg builds in layers with architectural salvage culled from the site itself as well as local thrifting. Her cultural archeology is distinctive in its details and restless as the whole of her ship-like installation.