In the indie video game Dear Esther the main player gets thrown into Outer Hebrides, islands of lush, primitive beauty. It is a purgatory of sorts, a setting to navigate before ultimate ascension to heaven (it’s also a reference to the hermit Paul’s journey to Damascus). With the complexities of this story in mind, PUBLIC Gallery curators Saelia Aparicio and Harminder Judge bring together works by artists who make rebirth, metamorphosis, and decay their subjects. The results vary widely and move from spiritual relics (brandishing sticks and ceremonial ceramics) to distorted bodies to a sort of brutalist trapunto soft sculpture. The atmosphere in the gallery is unmistakably out-there. —E.C.
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