Sue Scott Gallery

Kristopher Benedict's Fake Your Death

Madeline Warren, February 2009

“What do you do when you see a dead friend walking down the street in a small college town in central Pennsylvania?”

In spite of the heavy backstory, the show does not engender hopeless nostalgia or depression. Instead, Benedict chooses to explore the upside of abandonment and loss. Through his use of bright colors and floral motifs, Benedict conceives of “anamnesis, memory, small town life, escape, drugs and addiction,” as gateways to a rebirth. Images of sociality and “college town” infrastructures (a frat house, a view of the town from the hill) remind us of the impermanent ways by which we define ourselves. The contradictory nature of these foundational albeit transient systems is reiterated in the featureless faces of Friends-- you could be that person. Or the other, it doesn’t matter. Benedict is not concerned with why or how we should change, but rather, why shouldn’t we?