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Jessica Borusky, School of Museum of Fine Arts

26, performance/video

An image from “The Posture Grid!” by Borusky.

An image from “The Posture Grid!” by Borusky.

Jessica Borusky.

Comedy, pathos, social history, art theory, and a fierce critique of marketing come together in Borusky’s seven-hour performance video “The Posture Grid!” In it, she tries to sell the viewer gridded wallpaper. “We trust it,” she exclaims, “because God made us, and we made grids.”

Borusky, a Pilates instructor, saw an infomercial for a similar product aiming to help the user spot postural flaws, and immediately thought of how biometrics and eugenics had been used in the past to promote racist ideals.

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“I saw it as racist and homophobic,” she says. In the video, she starts with a perky sales pitch, but over time, she becomes dramatically unhinged, deifying the grid and revealing things about herself you can’t measure or straighten: “I was diagnosed with epilepsy last year,” the artist says. “I am openly queer.”

While “The Posture Grid!” treads in searingly personal territory, it keeps a grip on the larger, multilayered picture, tying the modernist grid to an erosive beauty pageant mentality, and claiming trauma — or just plain deviance from the norm — as a badge of honor.

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