KHFA exhibition archives

The Scent of Reason

Alice Leora Briggs
December 3–January 14, 2023
Reception Saturday, December 3, 5:00–7:00 pm
Artist will be in attendance

Statement from the artist:

The [a]scent or [de]scent of Reason . . . maybe we still have a whiff of a choice in the matter . . . either way, these are difficult times on planet Earth.

Camp, diptych, each panel 11" x 14"

This exhibition records what it is for me to touch, smell, taste, watch and listen to splinters of the world. Parts of me remain still in Juárez, locked into sexenio de la muerte when former president Felipe Calderon sent 10,000 federal forces into the city. But now I travel very little. I read Natalie Diaz's Postcolonial Love Poem, the book of Revelations. I listen to accounts of depravity unfolding as plagues rage across Medieval Europe, accompanied by my brother's evangelical soundtrack. I kick a 40-year-old friendship to the curb when a conspiracy theorist coyly slips her mask off again and again, while visiting my mother on her 100th birthday. And the daily news just seems to magnify human lunacy.

I draw along edges between insanity and sanity, seams between what is known and what is imagined, margins between nations, joints in the world, where vulnerabilities and articulations continually shift. Human frailties center my work. Each mark in my sgraffito drawings cuts a flash of light into dark territory. Decades ago, all of my work was on paper. I recently rekindled my love of engraving into deckled sheets of cotton and include a half dozen of these new works in the exhibition.

The Scent of Reason acknowledges my efforts to adapt to uneasy parameters—among them a pandemic, a ruthless world of political misanthropes and digitized hyperbole—as I care for my 101-year-old mother.

Necessary Tools, 36" x 24"
Basta!, sgraffito drawing on panel, 24" x 18"