If Memory Serves, A UCIRA Project at UC Irvine University Art Gallery


Cristina David, The Square, 2004, (detail) single channel video, 5:34 courtesy of the artist

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.

– Marcel Proust


Continuing our Critical Curatorial Series, the UAG presents If Memory Serves, an interdisciplinary exhibition of international emerging artists. Conventionally, we understand memory as reflecting a coherent personal history. However, memory simultaneously produces an illusory chronicle — a paradoxical combination of what is lived and what is perceived. We might ask, therefore: what or whom does memory serve?As a response to this quandary, If Memory Serves examines the act of remembrance as both an individual and collective production. Through and across various mediums — including hyperrealist drawing, large-scale installation, abstract sculpture, narrative photography and film — the exhibited artworks ultimately uncouple memory from linear storytelling. In so doing, the difference between global versus local, private versus public, and the sublime versus the real are collapsed. As reconceived through these artworks, memory thus performatively binds the subject’s “inner” and “outer” worlds in the most poetic form. Curated by Kellie Lanham, Isabel Theselius, and Allyson Unzicker.


Location: The University Art Gallery and Room Gallery at the University of California, Irvine

Dates: January 10 – February 9, 2013

Opening reception: January 10

Curators: Kellie Lanham, Isabel Theselius and Allyson Unzicker

Featured artists: Martin Dahlqvist (Sweden), Cristina David (Bucharest, Romania), Tamara Henderson (Canadian, current residency in Sweden), Bessie Kunath (Los Angeles, CA), Judith Raum (Berlin, Germany), and Martina Sauter (Dusseldorf, Germany)



This program is sponsored by a grant from the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts.

Mission Statement of the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts:

Artists create meaning, solve problems and challenge expectations. The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports creative research and critical discourse by University of California faculty and students working in all genres and with a wide array of community partners.

With more than 1000 artists/researchers currently employed, the University of California system is home to the largest group of nationally and internationally recognized artists anywhere in the world. The University of California is also a leader in interdisciplinary practices linking research in the arts and science, arts and technology, arts and the environment, arts and digital media, and arts and the public sphere.

As the only system-wide arts research unit, UCIRA seeks to support the most innovative andrelevant arts research taking place at the University of California. We have an interest in work that encourages curricular development and innovative resource-sharing within individual campuses and/or across two or more campuses, as well as expanded praxis/participation-oriented work in which University of California faculty and/or students partner as co-researchers and co-learners with representatives from a broad range of off-campus communities, organizations and agencies. UCIRA is committed to supporting risk-taking research and new forms of cutting-edge practice that might not otherwise find University or extramural support and which both serve to enhance the rank and reputation of the University of California system and California’s dynamic geographic, cultural and economic profile.

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