Review: Sofiya Inger, Story Dome 

click to enlarge Sofiya Inger's "Story Dome" opened in mid-December at the Indianapolis Art Center. - BRANDON KNAPP
  • Sofiya Inger's "Story Dome" opened in mid-December at the Indianapolis Art Center.
  • Brandon Knapp

In the past few years, the art of Sofiya Inger has been migrating from the canvas to more tenuous and everyday materials such as fabric.

Story Dome, her immersive installation at the Indianapolis Art Center, which is quite literally a dome that you can step into, includes painting on just about every imaginable media, all sewn together into one tapestry, akin to Joseph's coat of many colors from the Hebrew Bible. There's also spoken audio, accessible through headphones, and text. Both are in a multiplicity of languages.

It is no longer possible to label her work as "Chagallesque," which even a few years ago was too easy a shorthand to allude to her Russian Jewish background and her obvious influences from that world.

Story Dome goes way beyond one particular culture, one particular way of making art, and even one particular mind. (The human skull, just like the sky above, is something of a dome.) Very much part of this installation are the stories by friends and family written in longhand and sewn into her tapestry.

A number of Inger's sculptures show human figures in a larval type of state. Perhaps this demonstrates how the human and the animal kingdoms are essentially the same one, and how the line between the living and the dead is not a firm one.


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