City Tracery - Yu Ji, Christina Shmigel Group Exhibition

Two artists: Yu Ji, Christina Shmigel. Two generations: One with the lingering local memory of a Shanghai childhood, the other with a foreigner’s grasping for a sense of place in a time of change. One gallery: am art space, containing discreet mementos of its historical past. Shared concerns: How can memory be manifested in the creation of something new, something that carries its history but is not mired in it; how does the slow creation of work by craft and accretion allow memory to inhabit it; how can the installation of the work in space contain the viewer. Two studios: The fluid nature of what is to be seen on consecutive visits, changing relationships between objects, collections, materials, discards, tracks of work efforts, of re-purposing. The exhibition idea, inspired by German philosopher Walter Benjamin’s notion of activating the“atavistic memory”: to incorporate the work of the two individual artists into the gallery in the way of the ever-evolving studios, thoughts in progress, responding to the particularities of the space, placing events and objects in a wider context of time and space. Over the course of the exhibition: The gallery acts as studio, the artists’engagement with the space and with each other’s work continually re-imagining the initial installation. In the end: Aviewing that carries the memory of the show’s original form but is inextricably altered by time’s passage. In Benjamin’s own words, “it is in the profound activity of recollection that one advances step by step.”