A Collection of Makeshift Monuments
February 21 - March 28, 2009
Binh Danh, Joseph DeLappe, David Maisel, Bradley McCallum & Jacqueline Tarry, Emily Prince, Benjamin Tiven, Anna Von Mertens
Opening Reception: Friday, February 20, 6-8 pm
At EFA Project Space, 323 W. 39th St., 2nd Floor
Curated by: Yaelle Amir
EFA Project Space presents Post Memory: A Collection of Makeshift Monuments, on view from February 21 through March 28, 2009. Curated by Yaelle Amir, the exhibition features artists investigating alternative approaches to the process of memorializing, representing “various outcomes of remembrance through a mediated history.” Using vicarious experience as their source, the artists enlist a variety of disciplinary practices such as performance, intervention, and mapping, to redefine the act of commemoration of people and events that have faded from collective consciousness.
New media artist Joseph DeLappe presents the public with a living virtual memorial, dead-in- iraq. This project involves an intervention of an on-line army recruitment game. By logging in with the handle dead-in-iraq, DeLappe lists off names and details on soldiers who have been killed in Iraq for active game participants to see. Due to extreme reaction, DeLappe was eventually expelled from the game.
Bradley McCallum and Jacqueline Tarry revisit the plight of the Civil Rights movement in their installation The Evidence of Things Not Seen (2008), a large series of portraits based on mug shots the artists discovered of the protestors who participated in the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1956. This work is a an exploration of photographs verses painting serving as public documents and portraiture.
Also inspired by found imagery, Vietnamese American artist Binh Dahn’s series, One Week’s Dead (2006), transforms photographs originally published in Life Magazine in 1969 of American soldiers killed in the Vietnam War. Danh developed a chlorophyll printing process to superimpose the faces of these lost soldiers onto Vietnamese plant, by placing the negatives on the plant and exposing it to sunlight. To make these ephemeral objects permanent, they are encased in resin.
In the series, Library of Dust (2005-6), David Maisel, photographs an exhaustive collection of copper canisters holding unclaimed ashes of patients who died over a span of decades at a state- run psychiatric hospital in Oregon. By approaching each canister as an individual subject, and enlarging it to a significant scale, the artist turns the abandoned remains into striking metaphorical portraits.
Additional works included are The Implication Arrow: A Cenotaph for Simone and André Weil (2007) a video installation by Benjamin Tiven, inspired by the exceptional lives of two siblings who became a personal fascination/obsession for the artist; Anna Von Mertens’ quilt inspired diptych dedicated to a pioneer woman, combining computer programming, astronomy and embroidery; and Emily Prince’s installation It Won’t Live Forever (2007), exploring the artist’s personal process of coming to terms with her knowledge of the displacement of Native Americans and the gaps in the telling of history.
Curatorial Essay by Yaelle Amir
February 24, 2009, 6:30 pm, But Does it Work? Art Activism and the Interventionist's Gesture, Joseph DeLappe, Steve Lambert,