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"Karen Savage: Lecons de mariage"
2004-10-15 until 2004-11-13
Aron Packer Gallery
USA United States of America
The starkness of black --the cool of white --and the translucent grays make
the photogram sublime. It’s one of the most compelling and beautiful in the
world of contemporary art and photography. Karen Savage is a master of
metaphorical poetry and aggressive in the execution of this medium.
Leçons de mariage translates as marriage lessons. The nuance of French is
applicable here. This notion came from a book by Alice Kaplan called
"French Lessons". Savage is a Francophile. Formally, there are no gray
areas in French; there is always only black and white. Her desire is to
make the analogy, in this body of work, to the learning of a lesson. Each
photogram speaks to the idea of marriage as a cultural construct. The
images represent the spectacle of the wedding -- customs are practiced and
the objects are acquired in and for the domestic space, while the wedding
becomes an event of the past.
These images are spectres, the residue of a set of learned social
conventions: the mystique of the wedding dress, the dying anniversary
bouquet, the dresser scarf that has seen better days. All of this
represents the way time unravels within this union; they are portentous
visual signifiers, emotionally charged and, ironically elegant.