Places within Ourselves
Updated: Sep 8
Places within Ourselves
Kunstraum's Annual Members Show
October 4 – November 1, 2020
Curated by Iara Pimenta
Opening by appointment: Sunday, October 4
Presented by Kunstraum LLC
Artists: C.C. Czerwinski, Tatiana Florival, Alexandra Jamieson,
Christy Lo Lok Lam, Rita Nannini and Sam Ticknor
"As this wave from memories flows in, the city soaks it up like a sponge and expands."
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
Our idea of a place is bound to personal experiences and is often impacted by a multitude of sources such as through the books we read, stories we hear, films we watch, photos we see, and especially through social media and other online platforms. Collapsing in images, these memories become a flash in our minds to be taken with us throughout life and be revisited, challenged, and transformed. How do we document our surroundings and create a personal archive of the places we go? How do we hold landscapes within ourselves? Living in such a visual culture, we also wonder how our recollections are affected by those of others. Places Within Ourselves brings together works by Kunstraum LLC members C.C. Czerwinski, Tatiana Florival, Alexandra Jamieson, Christy Lo Lok Lam, Rita Nannini, and Sam Ticknor that deal with memories of places. These works serve as ways to collect, reflect, and investigate how memories are interplayed within narratives, connecting individual experiences with collective stories.
The works presented in this exhibition look at the ways in which memories are evoked and mediated by our relationship to physical spaces. From domestic environments to the earth itself, memories of places act as threads, connecting each artist to the significant events or periods they seek to investigate. In each artwork, memory is not something static but in transformation. More than an act of remembering, the works propose ways of reflecting on connections with certain places, as well as how we hold these within our minds. Even if these ideas and remarks are relevant at a personal level, we soon realize that they also raise questions about the collective understanding of the landscapes around us.
Sam Ticknor creates paintings inspired by scenes of her everyday life and by an interest in architecture and design elements, especially those of domestic environments. In Soul House (Pittsburgh) (2019-2020), Ticknor brings together four paintings, which create potential narratives in relation to one another. From a street view overlooking a building to a corner in a living room, the work seems to take viewers inside, to intimate moments and spaces created by multiple textures, patterns with decorative forms, unusual perspectives, and elaborate compositions.
Alexandra Jamieson's watercolor landscapes are informed by her interest in urban landscapes and the relationship between built and natural environments. Among other natural elements, water plays a significant role in her associations to New York. A series of works depicts iconic views of Dumbo, Brooklyn, combining different times and experiences as they intertwine the artist's personal memories with a multitude of images shared on social media. In spectral compositions that are devoid of people, these well-known perspectives are like celebrations that bring the city and the water together.
Christy Lo Lok Lam remembers her hometown of Hong Kong in her piece Within the Boundaries (2020). Composed of an object and a video, the work opens a window that gazes inward as an attempt to capture elements that have established a psychological and emotional bridge to Hong Kong within her memory. In her work, she reactivates Hong Kong’s cacophonic streets through façade elements while reflecting on the region's social and political context.
In the series Tunnel Vision (2012-2019), Rita Nannini transforms her routine commute between Princeton, New Jersey, and New York City into a terrain of discovery and experimentation. As Nannini explores perspectives of the varying spaces she navigates, she proposes new ways to relate to the places around us. Exploring unexpected angles, light, shadows, and the movement of people, Nannini captures moments that, when brought together, present an riveting narrative, taking us not only through her memories but opening us up to other journeys based on our own recollections.
Tatiana Florival's interest in the history of the Caribbean and the ways colonization and war have shaped its landscapes, often displacing it’s people, has been a great influence in her film Island of the Dead (2020). The film takes us through stories of cartographer Elie's life as she encounters the spirit Death. As we navigate through different islands and narratives, Elie examines her life experiences. Although seemingly adventurous and eventful, these accounts reveal pain, suffering, and trauma. Combining miniature scenarios with bright and colorful drawings and an engaging story, the film explores personal and collective memories that question historical moments that have shaped our society and places as we know them today.
In a series of paintings called Gaia (2020), C.C. Czerwinski focuses on the theme of femininity and representations of the earth as the divine mother. Inspired by Greek tradition and mythology, these works seek to connect the symbolism of earth as a woman's body to the idea of being grounded and present. As part of a series of works celebrating the sacredness of the moon to find a balance between feminine and masculine, Gaia calls us to reflect on the relationship between humans and the physical world, especially through nature.
Address: Kunstraum LLC, 20 Grand Ave, Space 509, Brooklyn, NY 11205
Hours: Thu - Sat 12-6 PM by appointment only – please contact us first!
Contact: Iara Pimenta, +1.718.360.3605, firstname.lastname@example.org
Image credit: still from the film Island of the Dead (2020) by Tatiana Florival