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"Karen Savage: The Seven Sacraments"
2007-06-01 until 2007-07-07
Packer Schopf Gallery
USA United States of America
Karen Savage is a practitioner of the photo-based process known as the
photogram. It is camera-less photography in which the end result looks
something like an x-ray. Savage also collects vintage clothing and
accessories, and melds both interests by making photograms of individual
pieces of clothing and textiles. Fabric is a compelling medium to use in the
process, as clothing has varying degrees of translucence and opacity. For the current show, which continues until July 7, 2007, Savage looks to religion and the spirituality of the missing body to complete her visual drama.
This is loosely autobiographical
reflecting Savageís upbringing as a Catholic during the 1950's. The Seven
Sacraments are images of garments and accoutrements referring to one of
seven rites particular to the historical Christian Church. They are Baptism,
Penance, Holy Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Holy Orders, and Extreme
Unction (the last rites). In each image the body is emptied from the object
and suspended as a symbol of the ritual of each sacrament, its only
remaining trace. Specific attire is a customary part of the receipt of most
of the sacraments, with the most common being the wedding dress. Some of the
pictures are literal representations; others are more interpretive, using
images of lace collars or gloves. In all of these images though, the body
is absent; the dresses and accessories are the remaining physical suggestion
referring to itís mysterious and unknown past. Each of these is rich in
suggestion and can mean different things to disparate viewers. One can
still be an atheist though, and see the power in Savageís art.
This is Savageís third solo show with the gallery.
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