Theater & art

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.

“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.”

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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.

www.jessicaborusky.com