Slinko's piece -- which is part of a larger installation that includes a crude machine that pounds a shoe heel on a podium, Krushchev-style, and a display of work implements like shovels melded with fabricated bricks and bread -- is part of the current exhibition Three Artists: Guo Gai, Meng Teng, Slinko. Slinko's work hearkens back to her life growing up in the waning days of the Soviet Union. Writes Heywood in an email to Eyeteeth, "The whole project is about working through the memories of the material culture of her childhood and teenage years. In that way the emptiness and façadism of a steelwool Marx beard reads quite easily, as does the title; something to please the masses."
Baby Marx in the galleries and the Walker environs. The premise: "The founders of communism and capitalism, Karl Marx and Adam Smith, have been brought to the future by way of a glitch-prone Smart-O-Wave magic microwave oven." The first two scenes (below) have surprisingly funny and incisive moments: Puppet Marx unimpressed by the Marxist notion of Warhol's 16 Jackies being created at The Factory, for instance, and a deadpan quip about Facebook and the lineup of Jackie Kennedy Onassis' mugs.
Circling back to Heywood's note that few in the younger generation that makes up the Soap Factory's core audience know much about Marx, Reyes' project has an instructive mission as well: According to the Walker's description, Baby Marx is playing with the "potential for mass entertainment to operate as a radical educational tool."