PDN Photo of the Day

Memory, Disrupted

Earlier this week, Furtive, a three-person exhibition featuring work by Daniel HojnackiKarolis Usonis, and Krista Wortendyke, opened at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Michigan Avenue Galleries. Curated by Jennifer Murray, Furtive is presented by Filter Photo.

A photography-based exhibition that explores the complexity of personal and collective memory, the artists use an examination of place and archival photographs to ask us to reconsider what we think we know about a past location or event.

“Over time, the viewing public has lost the ability to connect emotionally with images, even the most horrific,” writes Filter Photo in a statement. In her series unmarkedKrista Wortendyke alters images from a public archive by obscuring the parts of the images that define them as historically significant. “Through obscuring and re-contextualizing these unsettling images, Wortendyke asks us to refresh and reboot our collective memories and see these images with fresh eyes,” reads the press release. The images are presented as post-card sized to reference the original way many of these images were originally distributed—a time when atrocities such as public lynchings were celebrated in American culture.

Daniel Hojnacki’s work reflects a fascination with the subjectivity of human perception and the evolution of memory and reality over time. His series Where House Used To Be retells the story of a house he never knew. The house in question is on Bear Lake in Florida, and was once a home to his great-grandparents. Their memories via photographs are all Hojnacki has to discern and tell the story of a place ambiguous and fictional to him, and ultimately us.

Karolis Usonis began Quiver when he came across his father’s photographic archive from his mandatory army service in Khabarovsk, USSR. Through examining his father’s military archive as well as his archive of family photographs, Usonis found himself identifying with certain gestures as a gay male. By isolating and re-contextualizing the gestures found in these images into a fictional narrative, Usonis re-remembers his father’s history as a way to mend his own.

Furtive is presented through DCASE’s ArtsSpace in-kind grant program and supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Chicago Cultural Center
Through April 7, 2019

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Fine Art


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