The Experiments: A Legend in Pictures & Words
Dusie Books, The Experiments
"Rachel May blends the sensuous and the violent into forceful narratives that refuse to settle neatly down. Instead, they stick out, don't quite match up, and shuffle restlessly around in the most exciting and satisfying ways - just as her sewn collages do, in clashing prints and riotous colors-and all in quest of identity, in trying to put a name to it all, a name that goes beyond language, that demands the vividly visual, that demands the tangible. This book puts it in our hands."
- Cole Swensen
"Rachel May’s series of evocative, ragged-edged, cotton-print, appliqué collages and short vignette-fables in language experiments with tales of experiments: on people (electroshock or something like it), on cloth (“distressing” it by subjecting it to various roughing processes like burial, submersion in a range of elements, and so forth); on climate and self and so forth. The simplicity of her language belies the complexity of the social eco-scapes she describes, just as the surface crudeness of her whimsical fabric patches belies the story-telling power of their equilibrium and dynamism. She “wrap[s]” her subjects “in stories” because things and words, metaphor and material, are mysteriously bound together in a continuum that is also a contestation. And somehow it all works, with beauty to spare."
- Maria Damon
Pleaides: Literature in Context, review by Anna Saikin
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