Artist and curator Olivia Erlanger upends fantastical ideas of mermaids with her documentation of mermaid tails emerging from laundromat washing machines. Erlanger, who lives and works in New York City, staged the tails in Laundry Zone in Los Angeles’ Arlington Heights neighborhood. The installation was conceptualized in partnership with Mother Culture, a contemporary art and media platform that happens to be based near the laundromat. “Ida” consists of (presumably) life-size mermaid tails that are covered in scales, with bifurcated fins in shades of yellow and pink.
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A Los Angeles Magazine article cites Erlanger’s previous installation with snake tongues as an inspiration for the tails. And the artist explains that her tendency to work in, or create, environments helped lay the groundwork for sharing work in a public space. “Ida” was staged in autumn, 2018 and is currently making waves in a new iteration titled “Pergusa” at the Frieze art fair in New York, which runs through May 5, 2019. Explore more of Erlanger’s work on her website.