Reflectors: Filling the Void
Walker Keith Jernigan in residence – Boccanera Gallery, Trento
Residency: May 1-30, 2014
Exhibition: May 24 – July 31
Reception: May 24 at 7pm
Curated by Daria Filardo
The American artist Walker Keith Jernigan has been selected for a residence at Boccanera Gallery in Trento. The site specific project developed by Jernigan is a research – pictorial and processual – about the memory’s elements, about the implications of the construction of a personal history. The artist has realized a series of portraits on different supports, objects and an installation linked to his family’s history. The work completed during the residence, will be shown in an exhibition opening May 24th in the gallery space.
Memory is selective. It omits, make choices, reconstructs in the course of time.
Or it can be said (almost as the opposite) that memory holds situations and fragments of experience. Walker Keith Jernigan has worked on the time of memory, on his family’s history — the one directly known and the one heard from words and documented by images. In the condensed time spent during the residence at Boccanera Gallery, the artist lets many of the protagonists of this narration appear and be unexpected illuminations in a dark nocturnal blue sky. The portraits constitute a constellation, they organize themselves in the gallery’s space, they draw trajectories, nuclei that reunite figures (parents and sons) that cross themselves with others (uncles, grandmother, girlfriend) weaving relationships not easy to untangle in visitors’ eyes, but clear for the artist that put us in a cross reference play and bonds of which we become part.
The gallery’s space has been transformed: blue walls will receive the paintings that, as points of light, will interrupt the faint space of memory. A space from which the artist lets fragments emerge. For this project, the artist transposes photographic images in pictorial objects. The starting image of the family album is translated in painting through an observation and symbolic rewriting process.
The artist doesn’t reproduce the photographic image by projecting it over the canvas but rather he uses the pictorial construction as a device that represents an image closer to the truth included in the memory through its signs and its traces. Painting in these works, at the same time, tells about a conversation about itself, about the condition of being a complex tool capable of a very strong universal ability of communication. The space of the gallery becomes an organic system that holds together every single piece and puts the visitors in another history, another mind, another dimension, not as a contemplative spectators but as participating actors.
The artist has created pictorial objects, closed books, realized with pieces of wood, where the family names appear; canvases and supports of different dimensions that underline both presence and intimacy in bringing to light the fragments of memory; and a more installation section in which a door (that physically contains two paintings, a love dialogue) is put in relation with a fracture in the floor, an excavated space that forms a river, a liquid indistinct place. All this elements are part of the process and pictorial work that Walker Keith Jernigan has produced during the residence and that are offered to the visitors as a mysterious combination full of references in which each one of us can find internal echos and correspondence.
Walker Keith Jernigan
Born (1989) and raised in Atlanta, Georgia (USA), now lives and studies in Florence, Italy. In 2012 he graduated from Furman University in South Carolina (USA) with A BFA in Fine Arts. Currently pursuing a MFA in painting at SACI in Florence Italy. His research uses the device of painting to explore human and spatial tensions which are transformed in signs. Painting is perceived as a relation with the other, an investigation on representation that narrates the perception process and the dialog the artist has with the subject. The artists’ research is articulated in a continuous projection and mirroring experience.The temporal dimension of the works is expressed in a processional approach which is then articulated in a complex stratification of signs. Painting is itself subject and object of analysis. It comes out of the traditional dimension to become an experiential understanding of the subject.
Historic of art and independent curator, lives in Florence. She teaches Arts Management and Event Planning and coordinates the final project of Master in Arts Management at IED, Florence; she teaches Contemporary Art Practices in the MFA and undergraduate program at SACI in Florence and History of Contemporary Art’, Studio Marangoni Foundation (2001/20011). From 1998 until 2000 she worked as curator at Palazzo delle Papesse in Siena. Since 2001 she is an independent curator. She writes for catalogs and magazines. She is interested in long notice projects that structures through the years as ‘Distance as identity?’, the active practices as process, memory as fracture.
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