Artists are constantly creating objects in a bid to sustain memory by consciously or unconsciously reciting and archiving narratives from the past. However, improved information and technology has provided a wider range of aesthetics to choose from, whereby process may be less time consuming. In the meantime the artist wrestles with the past and tries to find ways to convey messages through literature, performances, still images and objects that embody cultural memory.
Over the past few weeks I have been privileged to visit a few private view art exhibitions with fellow artists from UAL Chelsea College of Arts, MAFA 2017/2018 program. Artist Josh Kline, “Civil War” installation at Stuart Shave/Modern Art, resonated with me since he methodically designed the exhibition space in segments to narrate issues on American politics and its effect on past and present memory. On screen in the upper room he created a fantasy world of a multi ethnic group in a communal space for the old and the young; this world was suddenly disrupted by politics and race issues. Also, memories of good and bad times grouped in 3D concrete objects and plastic ware, bares a visual statement on the state of American politics in other rooms.
This exhibition encouraged me to consider my own practice and how language and presentation can initiate a global dialogue, and bring to mind a time that was or is present. Memory is an active ingredient in the making of art, however the late French poet Gaston Bachelard, recited “there are no feasts at the bottom of memory.”