Momentary Fragments, ,
In his essay “Memories and Images” from the book Memory, History, Forgetting (2004), philosopher Paul Ricoeur asks “how are we to explain that memories return in the form of images and that the imagination mobilized in this way comes to take on forms that escape the function of the unreal?” Considering Ricoeur’s idea of tangible reminiscence, Sarah Cowan, Laura Gildner, and Blair Taylor each respectively investigate the complex and incongruent processes by which memory can inform our understanding of identity.
Sarah Cowan creates intricate large-scale paper cuttings that challenge the limitations of language in creating knowledge of the self. Removing the negative space from hand-drawn words- in this case, all the names and nicknames Sarah has ever identified with in her lifetime- these cuttings become complex flowing meditations on the inherent fragility language possesses in shaping one's sense of self over time.
Laura Gildner works with reflection as both a metaphor and starting point to challenge cultural romanticizations with the déja-vu. Creating installations whereby projected images of the body performing remembered acts are bounced back and refracted over multiple surfaces, Laura photographs fleeting moments of distorted perception that question both the veracity of memory and the unstable, ephemeral
nature of identity.
Blair Taylor creates small yet highly emotive sculptures that document memories of past events. Using personal archives, Blair reconstructs his memories as scenes, condensed down to the barest elementsand categorized within a conceptual framework based on the non-linear nature of reminiscence.
Sarah Cowan is a graduate of the Vancouver Island School of Art. She has exhibited at the Slide Room Gallery, Gallery 1580, and Xchanges, among others. She is currently attending the Nes Artist Residency in Skagastrond, Iceland.
Laura Gildner is a graduate of the Vancouver Island School of Art and is a current visual arts student at the University of Victoria. She has exhibited in BC, Ontario, and Quebec and recently participated in the IPA Summer Residency in Venice, Italy.
Blair Taylor is a graduate of the University of Victoria visual arts program as well as UBC's Archival Studies program. He has exhibited in BC, Quebec, and Morocco, including a solo show at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.