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Featured Review: Killbox 

Featured Review: Killbox This sculptural installation, by local artist and Washington University sculpture instructor Noah Kirby, uses the eponymous military strategy to engage the gallery space and dictate form. The strategy, invented by the United States in the 1980s and first used a decade later in the Gulf War, is a way of gridding targeted areas to plan for their optimal occupation by armed troops. Removed from its military function, the Kill Box can also serve as a way for any entity to optimally occupy a given space, which is how Kirby deploys it here. The central welded steel form — an abstracted variation of a small, five-man squad — has, then, the disconcerting dual presence of both an arresting art form and an entity poised for aggression, wherein you (the viewer) are the target. The planar, faceted form rests against a cut vinyl wall mural, which appears to be at once a reflection of the central sculpture and a disorienting variety of camouflage. The cool, blue-black palette, vinyl sheen and brushed metal surfaces all put one in the absolute mind of viewing art. And yet the undercurrent of tactical maneuvering, however latent, offsets the conventional experience with an art object. It's a compelling tension — and refreshingly nebulous, as politically charged work too often fails to be — making for something that is both a sociological experiment and a phenomenological encounter with aesthetics and perception. Through August 28 at Good Citizen Gallery, 2247 Gravois Avenue; 314-348-4587 or www.goodcitizenstl.com. Hours: noon-5 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and by appointment.

Click here for a complete list of St. Louis art capsules.

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