He responded with four words, “emptiness transforms personal landscape.”
The words sunk deep into my chest.
The exhibition …mercurial silence… is the culmination of an investigation of how grief and loss manifest in society. Comparative meanings were sought through multidisciplinary research of historical jewelry, Roman myth, and materials and objects as they relate to commonalities across human experience.
Memorializing tragic events through leaving objects and ephemera at sites of violence and tragedy is now pervasive: in doing so we attempt to process what has happened, honor victims, and give some physical form to loss. However this was not the case 30 years ago – we tended to walk away from the actual site and perhaps more directly towards one another.
Looking closer at objects in relation to personal losses – how does one thoughtfully negotiate possessions of loved ones received through inheritance? As in processing grief there is no clear answer, instead we search our lived experience as it reveals itself over time through remembering and forgetting. Objects we have lived with, that others have chosen and lived with, are often murky and become laden with a multitude of meaning. Transformation of these objects, while at first may seem an act of violence in itself, offers to make the negotiation physical – despite the persistence of grief continually marking and changing the interior of ourselves.
Rose Netzorg and James W. Kerr Gallery, Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University
January 9 – February 14 2014 (opening reception January 15th 5-7:30)
public lecture January 16 5:30pm
2008 Richmond Center for Visual Arts, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan
Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts, Race Street Gallery, Grand Rapids, Michigan
February 28 – April 27
in collaboration with Mary Whalen
A limited run of catalogues featuring essays on this work will be available in the late spring – if you would like to reserve a copy, please contact me directly.