I’m honored to be part of a new show with my dear colleagues, Rosa Valdez and Philip Ringler. The show, opening on January 29th at the Eddie Rhodes Gallery, Contra Costa College, is called Reinventing Memory. Each of us brings a different perspective to memory and past. If you are in the area please visit the show and give me your feedback.
I’ll let my colleagues speak for themselves about their work. As for me, the six pieces in the show are an extension of my MFA graduate show, Desolation’s Comfort, which was held at the John F. Kennedy University Arts & Consciousness Gallery in October, 2007. The work is about the re-contextualization[ Fix this in blog] of found photos (mostly snapshots of relatives who have passed on) into settings of my choosing. The result is purposely vague, dreamlike and illogical. I try to let the work take me where it wants to go, much like the dreamworld it evokes.
If you are regular reader of this blog, you know that I’ve been fascinated lately with the bunkers and batteries of the Marin Headlands. They are, to me, dark reminders of fear and fortification. I prefer visiting them in the rain as I have the places to myself in all their dreariness. Recently, visiting the bunkers on a warm, sunny day, I appreciated them from more of a design-and-composition perspective; angular studies of prison-like geometry. In any case, the bunkers have resonated with me for some reason so I’m there I go with my camera and old Ford Ranger.
The graduate show’s work featured mostly pastoral and pristine scenes; lonely landscapes that needed populating by the ghosts of ancestors. I was never completely able to explain the need to add these compelling characters to the work. For some reason they just wanted to be in the scenes. Now, the work is taking on darker overtones. The images seem creepier, less optimistic, maybe even a bit macabre. If they are, indeed, dreamlike, they are now of a more restless and disturbing night’s sleep. How this relates to memory, I’m not quite certain. Sometimes memory is something that can be grasped, other times it is murkier and more elusive.
It is that way with both life and art. Life undulates in various stages of peace and agitation. In the hectic distraction of modern life, we are left unable to discover these states and to feel them fully. That is why art is so essential to the human condition. It illuminates both the sublime and the unsavory. It puts it all out there, frames it and lets us step back and behold it.
Please do come see the show, if you are able. The address of the gallery is:
Eddie Rhodes Gallery
Contra Costa College
2600 Mission Bell Drive
San Pablo, CA 94806