Untitled Turkey XIV
About This Artwork
A fluff of fur sits atop a modest wooden pedestal in Untitled Turkey XIV. Upon closer look, a tiny beak peeks through the fleece, a hint of the complete stuffed turkey underneath. Composed of both sculpture and plinth, the work resembles at once a strange neoclassical marble bust and a ridiculous Frankensteinian experiment. Between 1992 and 1994, Meyer Vaisman made a series of taxidermic turkeys sporting an assortment of costumes, from wigs fit for Marie Antoinette to feathers, fur, and antlers. Here, Vaisman’s turkey is outfitted in sheep’s clothing, and, unlike a wolf in such attire that poses a serious threat, the Thanksgiving fowl takes on comical parody. Untitled Turkey XIV suggests the absurdity of our own ego-driven trots, presenting the formation, the trying on, of identity and the discrepancies between inner psychologies and outward personas that make up our composite selves.