[ By Donna Gottlieb ]
The words of Curator Grace Kook Anderson best express the spirit and content of the beautiful new exhibit at the Fellows of Contemporary Art office space that opened on June 16 and runs until August 18.
“Mnemonic Ritual looks at the uncomfortable subject of loss, mourning, and the persistent remnants of time passed...artists Mary Cecile Gee, Gina Genis and Nigel Poor reflect on the difficult moments between loss, moving on and determined timelessness. Through their own personal rituals the artists work through the very materials that are left behind, inherent with history and aura. Unexpected reactions of irony, humor, beauty, and even cathartic joy, are distilled from the works from very intimate personal encounters to a broader reconciliation with social history.”
Mary Cecile Gee produced her work, Field Equations (2007), after the death of her mother, a “collector.” She reclaimed these saved and varied objects, from lipsticks to Christmas ornaments, by encasing them in lucite, thereby making them permanent, precious memories of her mother.
Gina Genis re-creates the domestic living room of an elderly man and his hoarding habits both in photographs and in the actual objects found in his home after his death. In Things We Leave Behind (2010-2011 she captures the life of a lonely man trapped by his compulsive hoarding, a visceral experience leaving the viewer very moved by the experience.
For her series Remainders: god, sex, and animals talking (2010-2011) Nigel Poor has included photographs of banned books that all include women's names in their titles. She washes each book with her own laundry which physically alters them into sculptural objects, then coats them with wax and photographs them. Her work emphasizes the persistence of social values despite attempts to ban them.
The visitors who attended the opening had the opportunity to hear each artist speak about her own work during the delightful evening, and enjoyed wine, beer and snacks while viewing the exhibit.