What is soft architecture? For literalists, there are tents and yurts, but little is ever literal at KK Projects, where structures range from fabric confessionals to oversized Japanese lanterns suitable for occupation by human contortionists. There's even a colorfully ritualistic looking series of rock pile formations. Faith Gay's Rocks are little boulders made of fabrics printed in the pop-culture motifs of the 1960s,with brightly tinted flowers and stripes oddly ossified into pop geology.
The confessional is Seth Damm's Surrender House, a tent with fabric shutters, a blue tarp roof and an alcove behind which Damm, in his fabric coyote mask, heard tales of transgressions, real or imaginary, on opening night. Lorna Leedy's contribution to performance was her Cardboard Box Maze along Villere Street, a combination obstacle course and maze that proved popular with the neighborhood kids. In the main gallery, her Bandage Tents resemble illuminated pup tents and are so-named because they are made of many little Band-Aid-size strips of fabric stitched like so many brush strokes.
Co-curator Caroline Rankin and collaborator Megan Whitmarsh dispense with literalism entirely, opting for pure poetic license with their Abbra Cadabbra Home Security System installation, featuring taught lines of bright red yarn whimsically posing as deadly red laser beams protecting a huge "diamond," actually a softball-size fabric sculpture.
Ricki Hill's Animal/Vegetable is a two-story-tall tapestry elaborately concocted from "salvaged fabric, natural dyes and embroidery." Its unusual length, which spills out onto the floor, gives it a somewhat surreal aura, but a quick trip across the street takes us to a realm of science fiction in the form of her Cocoons installation of portentous-looking pods hanging from the ceiling of a derelict cottage. In the courtyard, Judy Bolton and James Vela's Making Rainbows is a whimsical rainbow-making device in the form of a metal tower with a glass mister on top. This sets the tone for Heather Gibbons' Corpus Traces installation of her poetry on clear, shower curtain-like sheets hanging from the ceiling of the exposed back room of another dilapidated cottage — all of which marks the triumph of poetic license over literalism in yet another KK Projects adventure in new art in the heart of St. Roch. — D. Eric Bookhardt
SOFT ARCHITECTURE: Fabric Structures, Enclosures and Security Devices by Nine Artists
KK Projects/Imaginary Showroom, 2448 N. Villere St., 218-8701; www.kkprojects.org