Memories are always deeply personal and vulnerable to suggestion, sometimes nebulous, dreamlike and elusive, possibly distorted, often rooted in objects like keepsakes and heirlooms that tie families together across generations. This thoughtfully conceived and curated exhibition connects disparate artistic visions, varied media and divergent approaches to the creative process, linking them in a unifying theme of time and memory in a powerful and haunting way.
The show has a palpable ambiance, a prevailing subdued aura tinged with an overriding sense of sorrow and loss. On entering the gallery, an initial impression is conveyed by sound rather than imagery. In the background, discordant ambient audio from various looped videos creates an eerie otherworldly mood, the non-verbal creaks and squeaks intermingling, contributing to an overall disquiet.
Adding heft to the show, recurring thematic threads surface in unexpected ways, even among the dramatically distinct bodies of work by the 12 featured artists. Included in the mix are site-specific installations, assemblage sculpture, video, ceramics, collage and photography. Themes such as birth, maternity, time and death – propelled by manmade objects – point to the earth and the idea of re-growth and re-generation, suggesting the idea that life is about both renewal and borrowed time.
Striking among these, is Trinh Mai’s installation, Begins with Tea, comprised of rows of tea sachets with tiny sepia-toned family photos enclosed along with grains, seeds, herbs, noodles – symbols of heritage, things passed down through generations. Hande Sever’s black and white photos beckon the viewer to look more closely. In them, a female figure interacts with the outdoor environment and various incongruous manmade objects – a newspaper, a fence, papers, costumes. Jessica Wimbley’s digital video installation, The True Story of Edges, employs a clever framing device so much of the footage is projected within the silhouette of a woman’s hair, as if presenting memories as they transpire in her head.
Memories of Tomorrow's Sunrise
June 8–July 15, 2022 Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery / Cal State LA
Curated by Jason Jenn and Vojislav Radovanović with Mika Cho, Professor, ART/Director, Ronald H. Silverman Fine Arts Gallery, Cal State LA
Featured artists: Enrique Castrejon, Serena JV Elston, Anita Getzler, Jason Jenn, Ibuki Kuramochi, Marne Lucas, Trinh Mai, Hande Sever, Vojislav Radovanović, Marval A Rex, Kayla Tange, Nancy Kay Turner and Jessica Wimbley.