States of Memory
Suhail Jhangiani of Sindh, India ; BFA , Art Institute of Boston
Chris Oricchio, BFA , Art Institute of Boston
Raul Rodriguez Allen, BFA, University of Salamanca, Spain
Review in the September 15, 2003 issue of
THE YALE DAILY NEWS
by Dan Adler
Essay by the artists: "Three States of Memory"
Reception : Sunday, September 14, 4 to 6 PM
This reception will feature a performance by the Kathryn Kollar Dance Company.
Exhibition: September 14 - October 28, 2003
This three-person exhibit seeks to understand the issues of the changes of memory over time.This is the perplexity of how the brain organizes the sense perceptions of events for future and immediate re-use.
First stage, PERCEPTION: Suhail Jhangiani’s cityscape and object paintings address the phenomenon of the momentary intake of present-tense experience. Here the image and experience is real and tangible, but without cognitive realization: A first time experience has no precedent images to connect to in existing memory. The memory image is burned into the psyche in a particular way because of the perceptual orientation of the individual, as well as their personality and character.
oil painting on canvas
28"h x 42"w
oil painting on canvas
30"h x 44"w
Second stage, FORMATION: Raul Rodriguez Allen’s multi-media works deal with the "stewing of memory." Here, there is the image as it rests in the psyche, and the changes that occur to it are either for the person's benefit, or because external situations cause it to adapt. This is a particularly interesting process, since the memories that stew can change the individual as well, and those memories might be false or doctored by the individual unconsciously.
that is Left of You
Raul Rodriguez Allen
oil painting on panel
36"h x 30"w
Built in the Sand
Raul Rodriguez Allen
oil painting on panel
30"h x 36"h
Third stage, CREATION: Chris Oricchio’s sculptures bring into three dimensions his theories of how art is produced from the connective extrapolation of memories, in order to express the creative psyche. A memory seems to remain semi-dormant until needed or until triggered by stimulus or thought. When we do bring it back to consciousness, it has often changed, and sometimes we make this realization. When asked to make something from memory, every action we do is in essence from memory, and we have to resolve the multiple and obscure ideas in our head, and progress into something with specific physical parameters.
The York Square Cinema Gallery
Gallery curator, Johnes Ruta, (203) 387-4933,
"On the Three States of Memory"
Essay by the artists
Memory is who we are, yet memory is also dependent on whom we've
chosen to be. Our ego some say is just
a shell. Whether you were to agree with Freud, Jung or Buddha, on the technicalities of how our ego is a shell,
or disagree and believe that our ego is all we have, regardless, the ego itself is comprised of something.
Memories are the bricks of our reality and our inherent human desire to keep them is the mortar. Memories
hold us together and can break us apart. Alzheimer patients are an example of what disastrous consequences
can occur when our memories are seriously impaired. As the patients memories disappear or fuse their entire
world virtually breaks down around them. I myself have always had a temperamental memory. Some call me
absent minded, some see me as an encyclopedia. My memory changes as the situations change. In one
context, I might be able to recall with ease and with an agility that is fascinating, in others I'm beyond
cumbersome, I'm slow, and I'm the fool for the day. What dictates this? How does it work? I have a million
questions, as I'm sure a plenty have had before me. But due to the extremely personal and individual nature
or memory my answer are sure to be just mine.
The three states of memory as I see them are as follows. First is external information gathering, second is
information analysis, and third is information retrieval and fusion. For the first step (Information gathering) with
our fives sense simultaneously working together we gather information close to instantly. Because of the way
our senses are individually aligned, some individuals retrieve with a certain sense more heavily than other
individuals. The network of our senses also dictates how we place our memory in our subconscious. By using
differing degrees and ratios of one sense with another, our mind is able to use an almost infinite number of
collaborations of the senses to categorize our memory and store it into a single place or into numerous places
with numerous perspectives at the same time. In the second stage (Information analysis) our mind overtime
starts to tear apart the bonds of our memory and analyze what memories we need and which ones we don't.
Some memories are detrimental to our mental health and are sometimes repressed; others are held as ideals
and constantly used as references. Our mind (not to be confused with Freud), or rather whatever one feels is
the totality of us, takes these memories apart not just to clean out the closet so to speak but also to see which
memories might be better altered than others. For as we grow, with the memories we acquire our sense of self
also grows, and our ideals start to transform the memories we have to reflect the goals we hope to achieve.
In essence our mind understands that what's important for our survival is what we reach, and so tailors our
memories to help us achieve success in life. Finally in the last stage (Information retrieval and fusion) our mind
in order to make some concrete step in our lives, retrieves information either from one source or several, and
fuses it into a new entity, an entity that will immediately become a new memory. Just as our mind takes in
information it can also send out. And just as the mind subtly changes the external world when it imprints a
memory into our subconscious, it also changes it when it sends it out. The result we all know is the act of
creation, which at any one time is always different and unique even if we fail to notice. But the act of creation
we know to be an act we control, an act perhaps of the ego, and definitely an act that reflects who we are.
Does memory control the act of creation? Does our ego? And if our ego controls the act, how much play did
memory have in sculpting that ego, so that we created just so? There could be countless questions?