Memories Of A Foreign Reality is a new exhibition by Etamae and Imaginary Footprints (01Matthew10) that opened recently in the White Hall of Akim Alzono’s Itakos Project gallery. It’s a fascinating and complex exhibition in terms of concept and execution, although I admit to finding myself slightly at odds with its central tenet as defined by the artists.
Back in the 60`s and 70`s there was a need to raise this individualism as the holy grail. We evolved the individual to the highest goal, and now we see the result.
Millions of confused minds are searching for a hold. Entangled in political and economical strategies. The American dream, or the possibility of being a important person on the world wide web has given us a tenuous hold, a fragile rope that can easily be severed…
…The soul… a character in a context… equal to others… seem to be forgotten. but it is there… it suffers… and it tries to be seen.
– Artist’s statement, Memories Of A Foreign Reality
This description leads into a set of 13 monochrome pieces which I understand have been produced through a collaborative effort between the artists, passing images back and forth , allowing it to evolve in accordance with their individual perceptions. This in itself gives the pieces a unique reflection of the concept of individualism and the merging of ideas and thoughts can be positivity received.
These are pieces that offer multiple aspects. Some are almost abstracted in form and despite being monochrome, bring to mind ideas of the 60’s counter-culture and flower power, and carry suggestions of psychedelics and dream states, the rainbow swirls and bright colours represented by the use of grey and white (vis: Reflected Into The Ether, Hypnotic, 3 Faces of Eve). Others are a lot darker in imagery and tone, that are both chaotic and oft depicting scenes edged with violence.
However, taken as a whole, all 13 images convey the element of soul (inner self), struggling to be seen / heard. The monochrome nature of the pieces helps to further emphasise this idea of of an inner voice struggling to be heard, as it gives the images the look and feel of photographic negatives, yet to be developed (as in seen and heard).
As such, these are provocative, compelling images, make no mistake; and they do marry to the final part of the artists’ statement as quoted above. So why then my sense of being at odds with that central tenet?
It’s a minor point, but for me (admittedly through the lens of history books rather than personal recollection) while the 1960’s and 1970’s did see a dramatic shift in emphasis in our understanding of “individualism”, given it encompassed the likes of changing in ideas of equality and our understanding of the environment, together with a broadening of our technical and scientific understandings, this shift was of a broadly positive impact, collectively and individually. Thus, for me, it appears that the disconnect of “self” (/ soul) to which the artists’ refer, didn’t really commence with the rise of the Me Generation, and the coming of utterly partisan socio-political (/religious) drives that occurred at the same time.
But this is is subjective differing of viewpoints, one that might well encourage discussion and debate – but which ultimately doesn’t impact on one’s ability to appreciate Memories Of A Forgotten Reality, or from exploring its concepts and message.
- Memories Of a Forgotten Reality (Itakos Project, ATL, rated moderate)