Friday, August 31, 2012

Help me re-name this installation

Help me re-title this piece.  I think Portraits of Longing is pretty cheesy.

Here are some options I came up with today:
Parlor Games
Distant Memory
Pre-feminist Parlor
Identity Deferred
The Gaze

Here is a word cloud I made about the piece.  What do you think it's title should be?

Here is the statement I wrote for the show at Van Brabson Gallery


Portraits of vulnerability, uncommonly captured in wistful cotton.  They are Madonnas, lost girls, older men and women stuck in their youth, young women old beyond years. Their sexuality is hemmed in by fine Victorian handwork , but within their boudoirs, they are free

We often think of portraits as true and memory as relatively inviolate .  We own our own image and memories and see them as accurate.  But it seems to me that when we are depicted by another, possibilities other than accurate fact are possible.

As I age, the stories of my childhood blur and are sentimentally remembered as someone else’s life.  I remember my Mother’s story as if it were my own. I remember my story as hers, though she died long before I began to forget the string of the narrative. Even my Father’s stories morph across gender and become mine. It seems that the stories of families can never totally expire.

As the older generation of my family dies, I am increasingly drawn to the detritus of others. I find shreds of story in the closets and trunks of attics , basements and op-shops. Some items hold the stories of their former owners: the archetypes of a life shrouded in mystery.

This brings me back to portraits. What happens when the creator of the portrait embeds the image in someone else’s story?

In this installation the detritus is false, a re-creation of over the top Victorian handwork. By sewing, gluing, dying, painting and placing these items with one another, I hope to open up a shared human story of longing.

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