Dear Unknown Friend
Children’s Letter from Sarajevo
An exhibition of photographs and book that tells the story of the Bosnia-Herzegovina War through a series of letters written by children experiencing its devastation.
EVIDENCE : Art & Facts
May 27 – September 2, 2017
Artists: Mac Adams, Colin Burke, Jeanne Criscola and Linda Lindroth, Howard el Yasin
Joan Fitzsimmons, Fritz Horstman, Meredith Miller, Jiehao Su. Curated By Martha Willette Lewis
For further information and press inquiries please contact Gallery@nullInstitutelibrary.org
Murder mysteries, detective stories, cop shows and procedural dramas are all staples of contemporary entertainment. Both documentary and imagined cases are put forth for our delectation as both human drama and abstract puzzle. Crimes committed and the methods for catching those responsible are at the heart of so much of the stories we tell, with increasingly detailed and technical portrayals of the infinitesimal or invisible materials gathered to corroborate visible information and solve the case. Everything, from the theater at the
scene of the crime to the final legal sentencing are lovingly described, over and over again in our dramas, books, images blending science, art and human intrigue.
This exhibit highlights the role deductive reasoning and careful examination play in constructing a narrative and conclusion. All of the artists in this show collect and present data, constructing their works as a form of visual proof and use the documentary concept of “evidence” to undertake a creative act. This mode of practice, borrowed from science, looks at the traces of activity which surround us, presenting them to us anew to look again. EVIDENCE features photography, sculpture and installation that have the artist in the varied
roles of collector, sleuth and witness.
Included in the show are:
• Mac Adams: Featuring photographs from the Forensic Fairy Tales series, which play on the darker side of well-known children’s stories: kidnapping, neglect, abuse, cannibalism.
• Colin Burke: uses antique photographic processes to explore the elasticity of time, plasticity of memory, & the consistent rhythm of nature.
• Jeanne Criscola and Linda Lindroth: Present images of a series of letters smuggled out of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Pen Pals for Peace, made into the book Dear Unknown Friend: Children’s Letters from Sarajevo. Book design by Jeanne Criscola, photography by Linda Lindroth. This heartbreaking and one-sided story speaks of the ongoing trauma of children subjected to wartime deprivation and violence, and their too often forgotten cries for help.
• Howard el Yasin: offers a work constructed in the space from his extensive dryer lint collection, which cleaves the exhibition space with the residue from hundreds of domestic dryers around town, populating the space with the ghostly remainders of their presences.
• Joan Fitzsimmons gives us detailed and luscious color photographs documenting rot and decay up close, from the series “Small and Large Thoughts”.
• Fritz Horstman makes sculptures of unseen structures such as river-runs, and the structural support underpinning buildings. These spaces in-between become both absence and subject and invite us to re-look at our surrounding walls, fences, and waterways, and to rethink what is “solid”.
• Meredith Miller: presents Revenants: Memories of Books , her book and photographs
documenting the material left behind by ancient books being documented for intake into a rare
books library. Each opening of a text, no matter how careful, leaves a trace, incrementally erasing the object with each handling. Paradoxically, should the book be left un-opened, it also dies, as no one is witnessing its contents, its raison d’etre.
• Jiehao Su uses 3-D technology to invite the viewer to investigate his images, creating a game of looking and actively engaging the audience with the artwork.
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