Material World: Videos by Kaycee Conaway & Molly Hewitt

Chicago-based video artists Kaycee Conaway and Molly Hewitt, both in their early 20s, show an affinity with Cindy Sherman in their predilection for posing as strange, garishly made-up characters. Conaway’s alter-egos tend to be lower-middle-class and socially graceless: in the single-take Dog Handler she plays a grotesque of a 50s middle-American housewife, exaggeratedly chewing gum as she stands for a portrait with a stuffed dog, and the shot plays out in slow motion for what feels like an interminable five minutes, the vulgar caricature giving way to something unnerving. Hewitt’s work is less rooted in social observation and even more obsessed with kitsch, often trading in low-rent video effects reminiscent of public access television of the 1980s and ’90s. Her videos also show the marked influence of child’s play; in one recurring guise she appears as a sulky girl in a homemade bunny outfit.