The Fox Says “Play!”

[photo credit: David Martínez]

Commissioned in 1989 by Le Centre George Pompidou to commemorate the invention of photography, and now on display at the Denver Art Museum, Sandy Skoglund’s Fox Games takes the viewer by surprise! While casually browsing the galleries, you suddenly find yourself engulfed in a wave of redness, in which an otherwise staid dining scene is populated by an array of gray foxes. It’s like wandering into a contemporary Japanese Kitsune story, where, like much of folklore, the extraordinary merges into the ordinary without warning or explanation. Particularly in Skoglund’s composition, the world defined by the dining tables seems less disrupted by the leash of foxes and more inhabited by them, as if what is really happening is that the human diners that must have been here a moment ago have metamorphosed into their true selves. Skoglund reveals the deep world of fantasy (if that’s the right word) that’s hidden underneath the thin veneer of reality we believe we see everyday.

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