The Icon and Beth Chucker are please to present Finding Family. The exhibition will run from November 16th 2012 to December 31st 2012, with a reception for the artists on November 16th, from 7-9pm.
The environment which we inhabit as children molds us into the shape we become, and despite our best efforts, continue to become as adults. Within the domestic space the narratives that occur regarding dependency and independence, nurture and neglect, loss and the cataloguing of memories embed a cognitive weight to one of the most significant spaces we encounter in our lives. This show features work by eleven artists, each representing a specific relationship between artwork and the familial.
Jen Berger takes a performative examination of her family archive in the series You Are Here. She recreates family snapshots of her childhood. Dressed in similar or the same clothing from years ago, her family members pose in positions reminiscent of the original photographs. Arranging a comparison between my adult and child self, Jen appears at once as two distinct identities and a single individual. Likewise, while repeated, the same familial relationships and gestures become inappropriate when acted out in the present.
Theresa Edmonds tenderly captures her pregnant 15 year old relative going on a walk through a garden on the family’s rural property at dawn. The picture is antagonizing, forlorn, seductive, and sweet.
Glenna Jennings created the Inheritance series shortly after her father passed away, exploring the archive of her inheritance – a collection of odd and largely useless items that magically become invested with personal sentiment – even aura. This particular image is of an old clipboard that her father had likely kept from his days in AA, evidence of his struggle with selfhood.
Joe Johnson and Jennie Ross’s Still life with Lemons, Dirty Dishes, and a Bong is modeled after Francisco de Zurbaran’s Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose. Johnson and Ross fashion still lifes out of paper mache and apply color according to the traditional painting techniques appropriate for each piece. The finished product is a photograph of the painted paper sculpture. These are the objects of a domestic sphere that celebrates and also suffers. It may be subjected to dysfunction or even devastation. However, reshaped by the context of this show “Still life with Lemons, dirty dishes, and a Bong” depicts the space of the young adult possibly living away from home and family for the first time and not yet starting a family of their own.
Kim Kremer deals with the family archive. Her Grandmother and Grandfather meticulously labeled everything in their house with post-it notes and mailing labels for the day they passed it all on to heirs; a blue vase, “Boedrum, Turkey, 1982,” a ceramic wine pitcher, “Fracia Ristorante, Capri, Italy, 1968.” When her Grandmother’s dementia landed her in a nursing home, Kim’s Grandfather followed to a different wing and left his entire house full of their stuff, collected over a 60-year marriage.
Lauren Silberman reaches out of he typical family construct in Gold Dust, which explored New Orleans, the “inevitable city on an impossible site,” lush with plant life that is not native to the City, and rich with many non-native people that thrive there. The wildlife that flourishes mirrors the human wildlife that flourishes. The photos are a collection of these metaphors – weeds push through the cement, vines crawl through fences, and friends’ and acquaintances’ characters shine through the dust and sweat that makes up the City.
Charchi Stinson takes the landscape as a point of departure in this particular body of work. She explores individual soldiers’ notions of war and finds their romanticized views embedded in the surrounding landscape. Married to Stinson’s cousin, Jeremy provided access to ROTC training and the Ranger Challenge competition, enabling a look at the early stages of a soldier’s life as they prepare for potential tours of duty.
Yana Tutunik’s video Falls From Grace deals with an e-mail sent to her by her father, using the structure of the original material to structure a performance. The circumstance brings to light issues surrounding patriarchy and representation within the context of a father-daughter relationship. In the context of this exhibition, this video explores the family as a set of relationships that evolve through members who need to hold one another accountable.
Katie Watson acknowledges the blurry, transitional state of separation in a relationship with T(W)O NEW LIVES!, a banner constructed of hand-cut personal documents. Familiar relationships constantly change and evolve, and T(W)O NEW LIVES! simultaneously embraces the challenge, struggle, and heartache while celebrating the unknown and the new.
Beth Chucker presents Telling of a Story with Darkened Snapshots to create a conversation surrounding memory and family history (the archive). In Telling of a Story, Beth collaborated with her father to tell the story of her father’s blind date with her mother and explore his memory of the event. What became Darkened Snapshots were the rejected images from the Chucker family album. They were the images her parents kept private from her. She shines a spotlight on them to examine notions of independence and family memory.