From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art

From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary ArtImage courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum

From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art
The Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
From 25 November 2016 to April 02, 2017

 

There are many forms of memory: memories of events we have experienced, memories we have heard as family stories and from popular culture, even memories of an imagined future. The Contemporary Jewish Museum presents the work of twenty-four contemporary artists who grapple with memories that are not their own in From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art. 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.

 

From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art_002Image courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum

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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.

 

From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art_003Image courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum 

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The diverse group of local and international art practitioners, some of whom have never before exhibited in the United States, consider many forms of inherited, often traumatic, memory from the personal and familial to the collective. Through their works, including sculpture, film, photography, mixed media, and more, many of the artists search, question, and reflect on the representation of truths related to ancestral and public narratives of historical moments such as the Holocaust, the struggle for civil rights for African Americans, and the Vietnam War among others—ultimately attempting to understand their own past. Others imagine memories from a future present.

 

From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art_004Image courtesy of The Contemporary Jewish Museum

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From Generation to Generation: Inherited Memory and Contemporary Art is organized according to themes suggested by the artworks themselves. A selection of work concerns itself with personal and family narratives. Works also speak to collective memories of transformative political movements like revolutions and uprisings. A final category presents works that delve into futuristic fictions, often looking at the near-present from an imagined distant future.

 

more. thecjm.org

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