Places hold memories and every place has a story to tell. Memories may change over time and to the outside viewer a particular place may be unimportant but to the person whose memory is held, that place will always have meaning. Connections through memory may be emotional or physical, simple or complex, and can shape a person for the rest of his/her life.
The work in this exhibition showcases unimportant places that hold meaning for the artists whose work has been shaped, in part, by the memories and experiences of that place. We as viewers are invited to engage with the work by recognizing shared experiences with our own unimportant places. The work may be specific to the artist that created it but everyone has his/her own memories tied to places that hold no special meaning to anyone else. Memory is a fluid medium for connecting to those around us and can change according to new experiences that further shape our understanding of the past.
What are your Unimportant Places?
Ryan Wyrick – Untitled
Paper Collage 8x10 2016
" Sometimes the most important places are those internal to us. Innate places which are not physically real, but just as needed in our lives. Our headspace. The place we can sort things out, fall in to help drudge through the day, and collect ourselves. A physical description of thoughts is a constantly changing abstract assortment of whirls of color and shape, certainly not a physical space. This is an attempt to make these intangible spaces into something a little more real."
Christian Helser – Excerpts from Memory Web
Oil on Panel 9x12 [Each] 2015
" Growing up the son of a prominent family in the small town of Maybee, Michigan I was branded with my family's reputation that always seemed to proceed my identity. Throughout my life, I have struggled with the question of who am I in relationship to my name, community, and in the grand scheme of my family's legacy and influence? Where do I start and where do they end? With much of my life lived in the shadows of family members long past, I have dedicated my research to the topic of memory and how it constructs the underlining systems that inform familial, individual and communal identity through place.
The paintings before you are excerpts of series entitled Memory Web. It is my intention that by exploring the places my ancestors have been according to familial narratives and photos, I may better gauge my identity and relationship with them. Their physical appearance absent in the unimportant places of others, but to me they are intensely present. I may not be able to meet such loved ones as my great uncle Bee or great grandmother Collins, but to me, the landscapes in Memory Web are more collective portraits of my family whom I've always wanted to know."
Amanda Carmer Rainey – #stilluntitled
Archival Inkjet Print and Acrylic on Panel 10 x 10 [Each] 2016
"Black water, blue sky. This is a place of peace, removed. Light, time, memory, sound, and silence all hover and revolve through the air, sinking into the weeds. Strong winds push ripples around. The Sunfish blows over on the surface, I scramble back on board and head for shore."
Damian Goidich – Absences of Presence 1
Charcoal on Gessoed Paper 30x35.5 2011
" This drawing of an empty room in my apartment building has a significant association for me; it evokes powerful memories of my great-grandparents’ Victorian home in Pennsylvania. When I first entered this room, specific features such as the heat grate, the running boards and the sliding wooden door triggered memory codes. I experienced several memories related to the Victorian home: the length and narrowness of the structure, hemmed in on two sides by other homes that blocked out the daylight; muted sunlight filtering in through the front sitting room in the morning and the rear windows of the kitchen during the afternoon; the musty, ancient smell of old wood and wool; fifteen foot ceilings and huge staircases that climbed into darkness; several cluttered upstairs rooms emanating dust and history; an attic bedroom with an old Victor Victrola and an overstuffed down bed. These images are unbound to specific events; they instead float in an unfixed space of my mind. Yet they are connected to vividly distorted emotional memories experienced as a young child: of fear and confusion, of unfamiliarity and foreignness.
A part of me wishes I could go wandering through that house as an adult – what would my experience be today?"
Megan Klco – Rebuilding on Bridge St.
Oil on Canvas 32x30 2016
" This began as a painting of the corner of Bridge ST and Summer Ave over two years ago when it was under construction. Since then, new businesses have gone in, and entire buildings have been torn down. Some of the structures and colors of the original painting remain: the red and peach of the brick, the sharp angles of the yellow cranes and orange traffic cones. Like the location, the painting's surface has changed, collecting scars and sediment. The place is only significant in that I drive by it often, so its changes register in my memory and are a part of my sense of place. This corner changes; I change; my painting changes. Working abstractly, I am able to record a series of shifting impressions in which the poetry of a place is more important than its representation at any particular moment."
Ashlee Lambart – Re-Placement
Digital Photograph and Mother's Journal Entry 31x15.5 2016
" This place; a small apartment in Eastown. This place would mold us and guide us through our lives and into our adult worlds. This place, years later, would see us fall apart.
My mother moved this summer. While going through some items for boxing I stumbled upon an unassuming yellow notebook. Its pages were filled with handwritten journal entries and drawings from a child. In this journal I would find my mother at the age of 28.
If the walls of our homes could talk, what would they say? Oh, what they have heard, what histories they have witnessed. They become shells of who we are or once were."
ADAPT | EVOLVE
Curator Statement Throughout human history mankind has altered the environment in order to make a home that best suites our needs. This exhibition aims to explore the implications of these alterations as they relate to place. Whether or not we realize it, our complex relationship with the Earth is not confined to the places we call home. Nature has relentlessly adapted to our ever evolving impact and as nature culture marches forward so too does nature, necessitating new dialogue on what we consider natural.
Ryan Wyrick - Our Home, Our Land How do our daily actions affect the environment around us? How does the changing environment affect our lives? Do we sense this fragile relationship with our surroundings or does it go unnoticed? Are we aware of our actions only when they cause a visible or tangible reaction, or are we mindful of the things we can't instantly sense or see? We may have ownership of the spaces we work and live on, but do we really own the land? Is it our entitlement or are we just merely borrowing it? Our Home, Our Land explores our relationships with the environment and land around us and questions the authenticity of our actions that affect it.
Jennifer Steensma Hoag - Compromised Beauty While photography has been used to document and aestheticize the landscape, digital photography is also used to project what the future may be like. My photographs are a conflation of modernist landscape photography and ideas from the field of ecotoxicology. Tens of thousands of different chemicals are used in contemporary industrialized society and thousands more are introduced each year. Ecotoxicology studies the effects of toxic chemicals, some of which pose significant risk to humans and entire ecosystems. My work questions the sustainability of our chemical dependency.
Our Home, Our Land by Ryan Wyrick
Vinyl installation in gallery windows
Installation view before ArtPrize 7 opening day
Compromised Beauty by Jennifer Steensma Hoag
Jennifer Steensma Hoag
from Compromised Beauty
ArtPrize 7 goers interacting with the mural during the first week
Interactive Mural: Week One
"I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately." Henry David Thoreau
Artist MIranda Graham making her marks
Interactive Mural: Week Two
The Angels of Our Destruction by artist Damian Goidich
ADAPT | EVOLVE
Interactive Mural: Week Three
A short video of the progression of the mural wall as part of the ADAPT/EVOLVE exhibition that was a part of ArtPrize 7.
The camera records distortions of reflected light moving through the lens but those distortions are not confined to simple representation. They also inhabit the realms of the mind and culture.
When asked to curate the final exhibition at CODA gallery, my co-curator, Ashlee Lambart and I wanted to make a show that focused on the multiple ways that photographs can change the way viewers perceive the world around them.
from The Physics of Light www.cargocollective.com/danieldieneltstudio/photography