Landscape and Memory
Solo Exhibition, Organized by LOCAL: Art + Ideas
Wabi Sabi Warehouse, Wilmington, NC, 2018
Landscape and Memory is an interactive and immersive installation exploring memory and nostalgia. It consists of mixed media inkjet prints on aluminum, hanging photographic elements, a wall of deconstructed 35 mm slides and frames, photographic sculptures, a custom-made scent, and curated tastes at the opening reception. My initial digital “memoryscapes”, made using an original algorithm, are translated in multiple forms and throughout the space.
I’ve worked with an herbalist to create a custom blend of essential oils based on specific memories. "genius loci" (spirit of the place), has been added to a single cotton ball under a bell jar, inside of masks to wear while viewing the show, and is deconstructed and applied to cotton balls placed in an open glass orb. The integration of scent emphasizes the significant role of smell in memory retention. A menu of “memory tastes” offered at the opening reception was narrowed down from a gathered list of nostalgic foods.
One source of inspiration is the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Torah, most notably the act of Lot’s wife being transformed into a pillar of salt after looking longingly back towards her hometown being destroyed. Intrigued by this response to her nostalgia, I incorporate salt into this work in the form of copper sulfate pentahydrate, which is a salt compound of copper. It serves as a reminder to let go, move on, and trust the unknown ahead.
The title comes from a book of the same name written by Simon Schama in 1995. Schama sees landscape as “constructs of of the imagination” and “carrier(s) of memory” that embody shared cultural experiences and values. In my articulation of the book’s concepts, I explore the ways in which our memories shape and respond to the world around us.
Photography by Andrew Sherman and Lindy Schoenborn