Facing memories that are not ours, dealing with Postmemory
Interview with Pierre-François Galpin
According to Dr. Marianne Hirsch postmemory is “the relationship that the ‘generation after’ bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before—to experiences they ‘remember’ only by means of the stories, images and behaviors among which they grew up. But these experiences were transmitted to them so deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right.”
Through their work, the twenty four international artists in this exhibition search, question, and reflect on the representation of truths related to ancestral and collective memory—ultimately attempting to deal with their own past. They remember and recall stories that were never theirs and assemble them in a variety of media to be seen, heard, and experienced by others. At once intimate and shared, the memories they work with are second-hand experiences, culled from a photograph they saw, or a story they heard, or even a once subconscious memory. The artists are secondary witnesses to the past events they use in their works, and it is precisely this distance in time and space that allows them to offer powerful narratives open to a wide range of interpretation and expression.
The exhibition is co-curated by CJM Assistant Curator Pierre-François Galpin and independent curator Lily Siegel.
Working in a variety of media the artists featured are:
Christian Boltanski, Nao Bustamante, Binh Danh, Silvina Der-Meguerditchian, Bernice Eisenstein, Eric Finzi, Nicholas Galanin, Guy Goldstein, Fotini Gouseti, Ellen Harvey, Aram Jibilian, Loli Kantor, Mike Kelley, Lisa Kokin, Ralph Lemon, Rä di Martino, Yong Soon Min, Fabio Morais, Elizabeth Moran, Vandy Rattana, Anri Sala, Wael Shawky, Hank Willis Thomas and Yamashiro Chikako
Pierre-François Galpin talked to Eleni Zymaraki Tzortzi.