By Liz Blood
Image: Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin, a small world…, 1999–2001, single-channel video projection, 6:30 min., photo by Liz Blood
The four video works in Remember This position remembering as both a personal and collective act.
To a soundtrack of classic rock, Renee Green explores Kent, Ohio in Partially Buried (1996) as a means of interpreting what the culture chooses to remember and one context in which her life sits—in relation to the 1970 Kent State shootings.
Taja Lindley’s video, This Ain’t A Eulogy: Ritual for Re-Membering, (2017) begins with names of black Americans killed by police, painted in white on black trash bags. Lindley, clothed in trash bags in the video, dances among piles of more. Here, re-membering—suggestive of putting the body (of memory) back together—is seen as the responsibility of the living.
Sanford Biggers and Jennifer Zackin screen home videos from their respective 1970s childhoods side-by-side in a small world… (1999-2001). Scenes of Christmas and Hannukah, birthday parties, Disneyland, children playing pianos, and big hair and patterned couches show American lives memorialized in their similarities and differences.
In Crystal Z Campbell’s Go-Rilla Means War, a damaged roll of 35mm film found at Brooklyn’s now-demolished Slave Theater plays with a voice-over by Campbell, who offers a speculative memory of the Slave. The semi-fictional history tells of gentrification and how the historic theater and its founder came to be no more.
Each work considers the contract of memory. Others are affected by what we recall and represent. Who else will say the names of the dead?
Remember This was on View at Philbrook Downtown from Sept. 7, 2018–Jan. 6, 2019.
Liz Blood is a 2018-2019 Oklahoma Art Writing & Curatorial Fellow.