To all y’all meeting Krista for the first time, I am delighted to introduce her to you. She is a Brooklyn-based artist. If there is anything as memorable as Krista’s work, it is her description of her work. Her essays, she tells me in an email message, are “free spirit monsters that just run all over [her] imaginative landscape, eating holes in walls and traveling forwards and backwards in time.” Although she has a blog where she posts written pieces, I get the sense that these monstrous essays she speaks of here refer to her graphic essays. I still remember the unsettling feeling that came over me, if only for a split second, when I first encountered Animal Altars. It’s a graphic short story of sorts and tells the story of a woman and a fur stole made from two white minks. Imagine receiving a fur jacket or something like that in the mail. You open up the package only to observe that your fur jacket looks more living than dead. Creepy, sure! But also thought provoking.
Krista is very much a collaborative artist. For Animal Altars, she worked with Beatrice Marovich, a doctoral student of philosophy and theology at Drew University. Conceptually, Animal Altars is arresting. It challenges the distance we, as humans, tend to place between categories such as life and death, consumption and waste, human and machine, the biological and the digital, etc. When all is said and done, the story suggests, we would realize that the gobs of stuff we consume everyday and the mounds of waste we produce in the process are not just going to disappear one day. Call it the apocalypse or whatever else you like but the day will come when we will be forced to come face-to-face with the consequences of our inordinate habits of consumption. In their current project, The Open, Krista and Beatrice continue to think about and work with similar themes.
It is against this backdrop that I understood what was both unsettling and memorable about my encounter with Krista’s drawings. I realized that they had a life-like quality. It’s like watching a puppet show and not knowing whether the marionettes are humans or wooden dolls. Her drawings are so skillfully done that it would seem surprising that Krista started out working with sound and video. Before and after she graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Masters of Fine Arts, she worked with Rashin Fahandej on a project called 160 Years of Pressure where sound and image worked together as the fabric of narrative. But like she pointed out to me once, whether it’s sound, video, sculpture or drawing it’s all about storytelling, all about working with time. It’s been mad fun putting this little presentation together. Thank you Krista for making your work available. I hope you guys enjoy it! This is the first of many more videos from the Brittle Paper video stash 🙂