Tainted Dream Exhibit

Take a close look at the Multiplicity of Desire, and you’ll realize the strange pattern is actually formed by nude, headless Barbie dolls. True, most boys go through a stage where they mutilate their sisters’ dolls, but shouldn’t John Sloan be past that? Actually, his “Tainted Dream” exhibit (through May 31) is an examination of cultural stereotypes and desire, as expressed in doll tableaus. Employing digital and traditional film photography, Sloan arranges Barbie and Bratz dolls into images both familiar and abstract. Barbie visiting Nordstrom we can understand as an indictment of consumerism (plastic woman, plastic credit cards, etc.), but Bratz dolls holding the decapitated heads of their male counterparts suggests something more disturbing. Sloan creates an eerie microcosm of modern society, but Barbie-lovers beware: The blonde babe has a close call with a spider almost as large as she is. Shift Collaborative Studio, 306 S. Washington St., www.shiftstudio.org. Free. Opening reception 5-8 p.m. JOSHUA LYNCH

Thu., May 1, 5-8 p.m., 2008

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