A new edition of my ongoing deconstructive video project, The Memory Films, will feature in the coming weeks as part of durée - The CalArts Art Post-Graduate Exhibition. Hosted by the Helen J Gallery in Los Angeles and curated by Amy Kahng, the exhibition features over 28 artists working in a range of different mediums. An opening reception will take place on October 29th from 5 to 8pm with live music and refreshments. Exhibition description and details below.
“Without this survival of the past into the present there would be no duration, only instantaneity.” Henri Bergson uses the word duration (or durée) to describe the experience of time passing—for example, the inconsistent pacing that makes hours spent laughing with a loved one feel like mere minutes, while a sleepless night seems endless. Duration counters “objective time,” that is, the scientific measurement of time: clocks, schedules, and timers. Across disciplines, theorists have sought to complicate linear conceptions of temporality and the assumed indisputability of “objective time.” Rolando Vazquez describes decolonial time as “that which breaks the normativity of contemporaneity.” Queer theorists Jack Halberstam and José Esteban Muñoz present non-normative developmental temporalities with “queer time” and the “not yet here.” The cyclical nature of trauma, both individual and generational—in which past distress is brought into the present—has been well-established in psychoanalysis and trauma theory for decades.
durée features 27 artists working in painting, sculpture, drawing, video, and multimedia. who materialize these considerations of nonlinear temporalities in their work. When visiting their studios in Valencia in April 2022, I noticed reflections on: past personal events and moments of intimate exchange; histories in the wake of colonialism and capitalism; attempts to re-narrate and seek truth; and the temporalities of the body and artmaking. This exhibition of their work asks: How can time collapse, rewind, return, and move forward? How do artists produce contemporary incarnations of the histories of imperialism, land use, and political events? How do individuals attempt to memorialize and connect with those we’ve lost?
It’s important to consider the truncated and yet simultaneously endless years that comprised the bulk of these artists’ tenure at CalArts—a class that began in the midst of “these unprecedented times” and graduated in-person. bell hooks has commented on educational temporalities, describing “the classroom [as] one of the most dynamic work settings precisely because we are given such a short amount of time to do so much.” In “such a short amount of time,” these artists, too, adapted and operated across various durées over the last few years.
durée Exhibition Details:
Saturday, October 29th to Saturday, November 12th
Tuesday - Saturday 11am - 6pm
Helen J Gallery 929 Cole Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
Opening reception October 29th from 5 to 8pm.