August 29 - October 27
An installation by Robert Maloney
Building Memory is an installation that is influenced by the fluid and flawed process of our deteriorating memories. The installation utilizes architecturally inspired structures and multiple projections of animated textures and portraits. As the imagery is superimposed onto the structures they deteriorate and ameliorate at different stages of recognition. The projected imagery is a combination of animated hand drawn portraits that are layered together with a series of digital and analog textures. A soundtrack of ambient and rhythmic sounds accompany the video footage to create a fully immersive experience for the viewer.
The absorption, digestion and fragmentation of information has become an integral component in the fabric of my work. I have become interested in the way that our memories and experiences accumulate and decline over time and how this retention of data affects each one of us in very different ways. As we accrue fresh units of knowledge over a period of time, the memories of the distant past and the various points in-between are superimposed on top of one another and continuously deteriorate at different rates, some features rise while others recede. When we look back on a memory, how much of it is truly how we experienced it? In what sequence are the details recalled? Do we remember the most recent instances, or the ones that made the biggest impression on us? As we travel on our paths; the way we see the world from one direction doesn’t always match the way that we will see it as we return from the other side, both literally and figuratively.
I have come to realize that everything we have a connection to; from our physical surroundings to our human relationships, evolve and expand over time. Through the inevitable process of temporal erosion, the impact of our experiences reach their peak and eventually deteriorate. In the end, only a trace of these elements may remain as if they are the footprints or skeletons of their previous existences. These artifacts are similar to the layers of pentimento that scar the surface of a well tooled drawing or painting. The initial impressions of the utensil that touches the surface of the paper, only to become erased or obliterated through the process of the creation.
When I see scaffolding in the landscape, it becomes a visual filter that symbolizes something that is in the process of a transition. To me, these grid-like shapes become colossal three dimensional drawings in space. They could be a signifier of a structure that is being built or one that is being dismantled. In my multilayered constructions I utilize this vocabulary of the urban landscape as a framework for fragmented thoughts and ideas to be suspended onto.
Through my research on the subject of memory I have learned that some people who struggle with memory input and output have a deficiency in the blood flow to the receptors in their brains, resulting in an inability to have control of their “working memory”: the system that actively holds multiple pieces of transitory information in the mind, where it can be accessed and manipulated. This domino effect of deterioration is at the heart of my artistic practice. I am not interested in trying to recreate my own memories for the viewer, but to create a fragmented, sensory experience that the viewer can observe the dichotomy of presence and absence, and the various spaces in-between.
Robert Maloney, a Massachusetts native, completed his Masters of Fine Arts in August of 2014 from Massachusetts College of Art and Design through their interdisciplinary summer low residency MFA program. Robert also earned a BFA from MassArt in 1996 through the Illustration department. Robert has shown at numerous galleries throughout the Boston area including the Mercury Gallery, C Duell Arts, Copley Society of Art (CoSo), Kingston Gallery, Lincoln Arts Project, Fourth Wall Project, 13 Forest and McGladrey Gallery.