The urge to preserve and collect is instinctual. Unique to the individual and manifest in different ways, collections can be material or cerebral, conscious or unconscious, mundane or monumental. In Piece of Mind, ten contemporary artists explore how various types of accumulations
- actual objects or amassed memories, deliberately accumulated or inevitably accrued as time passed - can be presented and interpreted.
Gabriel Barcia-Colombo’s work contemplates and utilizes memorialization. His video sculptures play upon our culture’s innate drive to chronicle, preserve, and wax nostalgic, an idea which the artist renders visually by “collecting” human beings as scientific specimens.
Melanie Bonajo’s photographs focus on the relationships human beings have with their environments and belongings. In her “Furniture Bondage” photographs, Bonajo fuses the individual and the material to explore the burdens and benefits of accumulated possessions.
T.R. Ericsson filters childhood memories and anecdotes through the cigarette haze of his mother’s terminal years. For the silkscreen drawing series, “Nicotine Dreams,” Ericsson placed ashtrays filled with smoldering cigarettes beneath the screens. This slowly created pictorial stains, destroying the screen membrane. Tinged with nostalgia and loss, the pungent, barely-there images conjure the tobacco-stained walls and ceilings of Ericsson’s childhood home.
Faith Holland’s photographs are ruminations on her family’s home, which has become strange and uncanny over time. Her parents’ amassing of more and more objects, has created physical layers as well as layers of time. In these images, history is not a progression, but an accumulation.
Yeji Jun’s drawings are built from daydream images, text, and the artist’s personal signs and symbols. Using techniques from illustration, diagramming, and abstraction, Jun indulges her diaristic and observational impulses to capture the ways in which thoughts constantly spiral, overlap, branch out, circle around, and accrue to suggest meaning.
Lisa Levy is a conceptual artist, self-proclaimed psychotherapist, performer, and comedian. Levy says that what drives her work is “an exaggerated need to emotionally connect with people in a direct way.” “Proof of Their Love Part I (Gifts from Men 1987-1996)” is a display of objects documenting Levy’s relationships with past lovers.
Sono Osato’s paintings are layered with encaustic, reclaimed objects, bones, and asphalt, among other materials. Worked into layers that evoke archeology and geology, Osato’s pieces are imbued with a sculptural sense of heavy accumulation.
Carrie Mae Rose assembles circular objects out of scissors and staples confiscated at airport security, recycled razorblades, plastic zip ties, and cement. These static pieces, installations and wearable items employ collections of dangerous objects to evoke the beauty of shapes seen and unseen in the natural world.
Jason Swift is interested in documenting dialogues, discussions, time and memories. Using hand printed and individually placed tags, Swift catalogues sites and moments, involving readers of the tags in the construction of a situation’s meaning.
Jil Weinstock encases and casts objects in fleshy rubber as a way of exploring issues of nostalgia, memory, and identity. In Piece of Mind, Weinstock presents a house in its most idealized form – as a childhood toy – memorializing the object and its past, and speaking to our individual and collective pasts and memories.
A catalogue, featuring an essay by Marilyn Karp, is available at the exhibition.
Piece of Mind was organized by candidates for the Master of Arts degree in Art Market: Principles and Practices at FIT. In their second year, students take a two-semester course in which they curate, execute, and promote a group exhibition. They graduate from the program with the knowledge, skills, and experience needed for professional careers in the art market. The 2011 curators are Anna Casillas, Jacob Coley, Sara Goldfarb, Anya Komar, Debra Kowalski, Briana McKinnell, Allison Mital, Lucas Natali, Susie Parker, Andrea Renaud, Osman Can Yerebakan, and Pilar Zevallos.
FIT, a leader in career-oriented education, is a college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY), with 46 majors leading to the AAS, BFA, BS, MA, MFA, and MPS degrees. The college serves more than 10,000 students and offers courses in a wide range of fields. Visit www.fitnyc.edu.