After the holiday blur, relax and treat yourself to a curated art show that pulls together work from Brooklyn, the Lehigh Valley, Portland OR, and Moma P.S.1 artists: Memory Palace.
Curated by: Becky Chipkin, Elizabeth Johnson, and Annelie McGavin.
Artists: Jarrod Beck, Tiffany Calvert, and Barb Smith.
Jan. 19 to Feb. 20, 2015 * NEW DATE! Artist Reception: 02.19.15 * 6:15 – 7:45 p.m. * Harmon Hall of Peace, Cedar Crest College
Memories are markers of time passed, they can be sentimental or they can help us to move forward; but they aren’t finished or whole: they can mingle conflated images, a momentary flash, or a feeling; they can even suggest a non-narrative story.
A Memory Palace is a classic rhetorical device that uses mentally pictured spaces to organize large amounts of information. A practitioner takes long “walks” through these spaces and “sees” different landmarks or features that trigger previously lists of facts that were committed to memory as they were linked to that particular feature or item.
The mentally revisited spaces may be based on places that actually exist or ones that are made up. Once a memory palace is operating and memories can be accessed, the method runs the risk of being altered, for it may fall apart, be degraded by time, or architectural parts may be linked with new interpretations.
Memory Palace artists:
Jarrod Beck, Tiffany Calvert and Barb Smith employ chaos, fragments, and the lack of resolution, safely nudging us close to feelings of self doubt, loss and lack of control. Just as a memory palace might be gradually altered from within by small mistakes or forgotten items, these three artists relish how cracks, elisions, and shortcomings effect the trajectory of making their art.
Jarrod Beck builds large-scale pieces by stacking paper, layering graphite, and piling wood. Combining a background in architecture and printmaking, and being sensitive to specific sites, his work appears newly excavated from the earth, since the material is worked and reworked through laborious processes. The materials, like remembered experiences, accumulate; and we sense an epic, destructive backstory that precludes the work, one that was forgotten, edited out or lost over eons. Over-sized and impassive like nature, his work seems to outlast human attempts to remember.
Tiffany Calvert dismantles and reconstructs the act of painting itself; her paintings simultaneously pull together and rattle apart as you look at them. Lifting painterly passages from Manet, Cezanne, Rembrandt, Velasquez, Goya and El Greco, she crafts doubtful, new compositions that place us smack in the middle of collapse, explosion, dissolution and reassembly.
Barb Smith plays with perception, questioning what we assume to be true about form. Along with tiny sculptures that hide in plain sight, she creates soft sculptures from memory foam that cleverly evoke the hard, heavy permanent nature of marble. Bending, breaking and mending malleable materials, her work resists being pinned down or finished; it exists in a state of continuous creation.
Building up lasting impressions of decay, destruction and the regeneration of materials (Beck), embracing collapse (Calvert), and creating a continuum between breaking and mending (Smith), the three artists in
Memory Palace assemble and disassemble markers of meaning. The work mirrors the way our minds sift, sort and edit pathways through information, and the fact that we revisit and remake these pathways again and again.
Stop by Cedar Crest’s Harmon Hall of Peace Gallery to enjoy a Memory Palace in the Lehigh Valley, to ring in 2015 with creative memories.
Meet the artists:
Tiffany Calvert, visiting Art Professor at Reed College, Portland http://www.tiffanycalvert.com
Barbara Smith, Brooklyn: http://barbarasmithart.com/
Jerrod Charles Beck, of Moma P.S.1: http://jarrodcharlesbeck.com/