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Sally Clark
Binh Danh
Ian Everard
James Fee
Shelby Graham
Hanna Hannah
Robin Kandel
Aaron Kerner
Elyse Koren-Camarra
Keith Muscutt
Katsushige Nakahashi
Rebecca Ramos
Hideki Shiozawa
Robynn Smith
Kenji Yanobe
Robynn Smith

In earlier exhibitions of Collapsing Histories, Robynn Smith exhibited work like Prague Winter. Through seemingly incongruous juxtapositions Smith mobilizes an interior dialogue. She brings together mundane scenes, unmarked by time, universal silhouettes of human forms caring for horses, just enjoying a walk, a dog, and these are adjoined with sites of catastrophic violence. Without compromising the independence of each individual cell the composition of the frames allow for colors and lines to intermingle. This is especially true of the colors Smith uses. They bleed, they infect, each cell leaves detectable traces of the other, these residual traces might well serve an aesthetic purpose first, but they also function as a displacement of our waning memory. The yellows that give way to shades of blue, or the ocher that vanishes into the abyss of black, create a network of missing memory, partial memory, memory eroded my time.

After allowing for some time to pass, Smith’s Shudder Series (which is seen to the right) includes imagery from the ruins of the World Trade Center in the wake of September 11, 2001. In many respects Smith’s work operates analogously to her earlier work; her work still focuses on a geographic area that is charged with catastrophic history. Moreover, and despite our repeated utterances of, “never again,” despite the temporal distance, or the rows of trees that now cover some of the catastrophic sites, or plans to re-build, there lurks in humanity the possibility that these events could, and are, happening again: Rwanda, Kosovo, Iraq. She ‘brings this stuff home,’ she brings the catastrophic not from some exotic distant location, but right to our doorstep. In the Shudder Series for example, the graphic image is created by the superimposition of media images. The first is the obvious, and still haunting, skeletal structure of the World Trade Center, and the other is an Associated Press photograph of Grozny after being bombarded by the Soviets. The superimposition, indeed, brings it home.

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