Saturday, June 13, 2009

later rather than sooner

Last night, I stopped by the reception for the new Khara Koffel show, later rather than sooner, at Good Citizen Gallery en route to Soulard Art Market for the Women Are Goddesses show. Koffel's works grant the viewer both an intimate view of her life and of those who have influenced it.

I was especially drawn to When All Else Fails in which Koffel's "ever-present to-do lists... have been reformed as a prescription drug used to combat anxiety" and In Case of the Eventual containing "letters to those with whom [Koffel has] something... to share... shredded and placed in trophy cases to be distributed after [her] death [wherein] the recipients may choose to reassemble the note or leave it as a trophy of what was." The subtlety of Koffel's works make them difficult to fully appreciate without knowing exactly what they are comprised of, and her descriptions of what is contained therein help to convey the sense of memory and mortality that comes across in much of her work.

Koffel's use of materials and attention to detail have an almost transcendent effect as she "pulls inspiration from personal stories, anecdotes, and memories creating installations using specific objects related to her past and present... these materials carry a specific relevance to her own stories but remain approachable to a wide range of viewers." Koffel's approach reminds me Candy Jernigan's cataloging and documenting the evidence and detritus of her own life, except Koffel's works so strongly reflect upon her life and those people she holds dear that her work has a much more spiritual feel. As such, Koffel's works become not just a means of cataloging her life but rather act as relics through which one can better appreciate both her life and those people who have influenced it.

The later rather than sooner show at Good Citizen runs through July 11.

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