This exhibit explores recurring interrogations and reflections on time, language and the structures of memory that contribute to contemporary art practices. For many artists, collective memory involves a system of signs, symbols and practices whose remembrance or endurance is a social phenomenon. By contrast, Foucault defined counter-memories as an individual’s resistance against official historical continuity. Who remembers, what is the context of memory, and what does it oppose become relevant questions for art in our current cultural and critical environment.
Each of these works offers a perceptual field that engages and rewards the viewer’s desire to “make sense.” As representations, they oscillate between the obvious and the obscure, the evident and the illusionary. As modes of inquiry or observation, one can consider their construction as contributing to a critical, productive ambiguity that yields to “after-thoughts” as well as to “pre” or “after-images.” Some reflect upon previous works or are derived from them, while others combine media to complicate the resolution of their literal or poetic meaning.
An associative sequence of images is at play in the installation, where the relationship of scale to content in each work creates meaning while challenging our conceptual and physical alignment. As 601Artspace prepares for its next home, this exhibit celebrates a suite of works culled from the collection, a supplement to our on-going dialog between public and individual markers of memory.