extant

 

Extant considers the legacies of three celebrated authors–Virgil, Emily Dickinson, and Franz Kafka–who requested in their wills that their unfinished works and/or their correspondence be burned upon their deaths. In each case, their work was spared and has gone on to inspire countless writers and readers. Here, carefully hand-crafted imagined artifacts of these authors are seemingly rescued from the flames. Partially destroyed, the works revel in their salvation while prompting the viewer to contemplate the impact of their near-absence on the history of Western literature and culture. Each lithographed artifact blurs the boundary between the real and the imagined, the faithful forgery and the illusive original. Tapping into our angst over things left undone,this work deliberates on the will of the artist, literally and figuratively, pondering the delicate tipping point between annihilation and preservation, obscurity and immortality.

© 2021 by Jenn Law  
 

Extant

(Dickinson, In this short life), front view, 2016, hand-burned, double-sided 3-colour lithograph, edition of 3, 4.5 “ x 2”