Pin It

Review: Memory Project 

D. Eric Bookhardt on mixed-media works by Polish and American artists at Antenna Gallery

click to enlarge art_rec.jpg

Before World War II, the Polish city of Lodz had a population of more than 600,000. Approximately one-third of its citizens were Jews and most of them did not survive Nazi occupation. Today, even the memory of their once-vital neighborhoods has mostly faded. One who survived remembered buying balloons during strolls with her father before the war. Her daughter, New Orleans artist/curator Robin Levy, was inspired by such memories to invite contemporary artists in Lodz to share their impressions of the meaning of memory in a collaborative expo with local artists Courtney Egan, Anita Yesho and Deborah Luster. Egan and Yesho's profusely documented history of the Antenna Gallery building and the land on which it sits amounts to a colorful social history of the St. Claude neighborhood itself. Deborah Luster's well-known photographic portraits of local murder scenes reveal sites where lives were suddenly reduced to memories that poignantly linger among the living.

  Adam Klimczak's 161 Photographs With Lodzia (pictured), offers the starkest reprise of the past in a slide show of photos set within the ID numbers of a blowup of a young Lodz woman interned in a labor camp. Inspired by Klimczak's mother, this spans the full spectrum of human emotions. Piotr Szczepanski's video employs a narrative history of places in a former Jewish neighborhood to articulate a psychic history of 20th-century Lodz itself, and Marta Madejska shares a friend's more recent, yet pointed, childhood memories. Justyna Wencel's video employs elegant dreamlike images as symbols of the tensions that arise between mother and daughter as societal values shift over time. Agnieszka Chojnacka's makeshift cavern of old quilts contains a video exploration of the psychic violence of childhood symbolized by a wand with a tinfoil star puncturing soap bubbles — a reminder that the lives and dreams we take for granted are often far more delicate than we realize. Levy deployed balloons in an eloquent allusion to her mother's own fragile, yet enduring, memories of Lodz. — D. ERIC BOOKHARDT


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Pin It
Submit an event Jump to date

Latest in Art Review

More by D. Eric Bookhardt

Spotlight Events

  • 5 to 9 @ Cafe Istanbul
    New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Ave.

    • Fri., Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m., Sat., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., Fri., March 2, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., March 3, 7:30 p.m.
    • 1 going/interested
  • Tet Fest (Vietnamese New Year Festival) @ Mary Queen of Vietnam Church Stage
    14001 Dwyer Road

    • Feb. 23-25
  • Close Me Out @ Hi-Ho Lounge
    2239 St. Claude Ave.

    • First Saturday of every month

© 2018 Gambit
Powered by Foundation