Temple's TangleWave Art Gallery

==Memory==

"There is no time. What is memory?" Inscribed on the tombstone of a Chinese Monk.


Gateway to the Subconscious, acrylic, oil, collage on linen, 20"x30" © 1994

Gateway to the Subconscious represents my falling out with the "line" concepts discussed in Memory. Gateway to the Subconscious doesn't even complete the line. It is based upon a line that has been aborted in places, a line that has become a character. The layering of day upon day has caused distinctions to blur. The line has given up, abandoned itself into a hopeless maze; it will never come clean. The collage elements include strings of typewriter eraser tape containing such unexpected words and phrases as ...heit...rusheep...mylife...moo... to...may...herhalfsecret...soften...firstcom.... perhaps recapitulating memory's random element, its capacity for nonsense out of sense and vice versa. There are also scraps of a newspaper clipping about a meteorite and its subsequent crater, which his how I sometimes think of amnesia: a concussion, a depth, a crater. The girl upside down is me at 16.


I came to consider the act of memory to be, in many ways, a creative act, an act of re-creation. I hoped to portray in Memory some sense of mystery as well as an active, if abstract, sense of flat, linear time being shot through with overlapping, out-of-time experience. The act of remembering seems to be a process of jumping through time at random. If we could not access memories randomly and could only arrive upon a particular memory by looking at past events in a reverse sequential manner, if we were unable to take a memory out of its linear context, then depending on the rapidity of our thought processes, we would be perhaps incapable of expression or creativity or even a sense of identity. more. . .

Memory, acrylic on linen, 20"x30" © 1992 (private collection)

Red Amnesias, acrylic & oil on linen, 32"x32" © 1993 (private collection)

While Memory and its kin use a single line to create a narrative characterizing temporal, chronological change, Red Amnesias uses the "line" concept but adds to it. Here the line becomes a fire. The fire is drawn with a single, continuous line, but the kids' house drawn beneath it is not part of this line. While in paintings such as Big Bang, shape overlays shape, star constructs/deconstructs star, now discontinuous lines overlay another line.
Red Amnesias is my original "hidden images" painting. It contains the childhood memory of a crayon house, replete with chimney, beneath concealing flames. It concerns the possible dissociation and reunification of implicit and explicit memory. Many of our choices and ideas may be formed by an interplay between the two, explicit memory being those events and experiences we consciously recall and implicit memory those perhaps acting without our knowledge. In other words, the activity generated by the "conscious" fire line may be influenced by the activity of the concealed/subconscious "house" without even realizing it.
One viewer "freaked out" upon viewing Red Amnesias for the first time, though he didn't know why. Initially, he didn't "see" the burning house in the painting, but upon further discussion, it turned out his family's house burned down during his childhood. Perhaps his was a twist on the type of "involuntary memory," the madeleine moments, explored by Marcel Proust.

Amnesia, acrylic on linen, 20"x30" © 1992


Black Amnesias, acrylic on linen, 36"x26" © 1992

Cannon

I dip
in to a heaven
lip through
this sad abyss

I had a fit
but I didn't tell anyone


White Amnesias, acrylic & oil on linen, 30"x30" © 1993

White Amnesias shows memory in the churning, workaholic concussion of a cloud. It is memory in motion, building the void.


Static, acrylic & collage on linen, 9"x12" © 1992

Static is a personal tribute to the failed "art of forgetting [Kierkegaard]." Certain bits of experience seem to want continually to buzz around in the mind and to crop up at inopportune moments. These details may or may not seem significant, but neither active nor passive forgetting disposes of them.

"The extent of one's power to forget is the final measure of one's elasticity of spirit. If a man cannot forget well, he will never amount to much. Whether there be a Lethe gushing forth, I do not know; but this I know, that the art of forgetting can be developed. ...It is easy to see that most people have a very meager understanding of this art, for they ordinarily wish to forget only what is unpleasant, not what is pleasant. This betrays a complete one-sidedness."
--Kierkegaard, Either/Or [Bretall]

Unfortunately, contrary to this advice, I've spent much of my life obsessed with remembering too much.

This painting might serve as a reminder, but someone has been "borrowing" it for over a decade, and I've had no luck in getting it back from him.


Lost Conversations, acrylic & oil on linen, 40"x40" © 1995 (private collection)


Gateway 2, acrylic and toner on panel, 11"x14" © 1999 (private collection)

Gateway 3, acrylic and toner on paper, 10 1/4 "x14 1/4" © 1999


Gateway to the Subconscious 4, acrylic on linen on wood, 12"x22" © 2001 (private collection)


After Math, acrylic on canvas, 6"x8 1/4" © 2005 (at auction)

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Gateway 5, acrylic and toner on paper, 7 7/8 "x10 3/4" © 2002


Amnesias in Green, acrylic on canvas, 26"x19" © 2002 (private collection)


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