Kristina Smith

“Forgetting doesn’t hurt at all, but still, it is good to remember.

Remembering contains all the reasons both for joy and for sorrow, and they are often the same.”

– Miljenko Jergović, Historijska čitanka

Evidence of Existence

     Evidence of Existence is an inquiry into memory and family history that considers the formation of personal identity, familial relationships, and opposing viewpoints. Works in this exhibition include staged narratives that consider the structure of personal identity through an investigation into the significance between place and memory and the relationship of grief and loss. Evidence of Existence investigates personal identity and its association with family history, the ever-changing meaning of place, and the search for unanswered questions.

Works in this exhibition examine the artist’s struggle to understand the distinction between fact and fiction in regards to family history. Conflicting narrations of place, family history, and the private homes they once inhabited were considered. The resonating connection to place and memories of a disruptive familial upbringing were also explored throughout this work. This place, a former bustling steel-town, now remains largely vacant, much like her grandfather’s house, yet a presence and physical/emotional pull remains. This work invites the viewer to consider the history of place, along with his or her own real or idealized truths and reflect upon experiences, memories, and emotions of loss, isolation, and identity through photographic imagery.

Evidence of Existence illustrates the edifice of memory, and invites the viewer to examine the vestiges of relationships and emotions. This inquiry into memories of family and place will present challenges for the viewer to imagine what is authentic and/or invented. Evidence of Existence addresses these key aspects of the human condition by exploring the experience of familial relationships, the impression of memory, and the impact of grief.

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