mindy shapero

Ms68

Shapero’s present-day epic is a self-invented version of the classic fairy tale that bespeaks and relieves anxiety. It is also about fear of monstrosity and our own potential to engender it. Her narrative starts out with a cute little patch of fur that has always been around, sitting “like anthrax does in the middle of a place seldom traveled by humans or animals,” when suddenly it becomes activated. Driven by a yearning to be loved, it steals the eyes of everyone in a village, and, discovering that “these eyes could advance its progression and growth,” engulfs even more eyes. Learning to see with eyes that it has stolen enables it to steal even more eyes. Growing to the size of a large sack, it becomes like King Ubu, the fantastical character imagined by French teenager Alfred Jarry more than a century ago who would later become a fixation in Surrealist practice. Although Shapero’s sack threatens to engulf everything in the world, ceding to the economy of fairy tales its very growth is ultimately turned against it. Once it becomes visible and threatening, people protect themselves.

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