Draw a Memory and Lose It
3-hour performance drawing/wall intervention
studio wall, utility knife, spackle, paint
This work was part of a larger collaborative project titled: Drawing, Constraint & Criticality This collaboration explored the connection between criticality and creative constraints. The rules (conscious and subconscious alike) which we use in our creative practices provided a starting point for our exploration. Whether we follow them or break them, they are a vital part of the process by which we generate new artistic thought.
Through its speed, physicality, and relationship to spontaneous gesture and deliberate ideation, drawing seemed well-suited to explorations of creative constraint. Through a set of collaborative drawing prompts, inspired by Fluxus, we investigated the nature of constraint and drawing, and the link between the two. We developed a series of prompts individually, then shared them and carried them out. Whether following the prompts to the letter or changing the rules as we went, the new constraints yielded unpredictable, exciting, and meaningful results.
Prompt: Draw a memory. Lose it. Document the drawing and the loss.
The day of my drawing, I had no idea what I was going to do. As I sat in my studio my mom had sent a text with an image of an empty lot where my grandparents’ house once stood, now leveled for municipal expansion. Drawing from memory, I carved the silhouette of my grandparents’ house using a utility knife. The embedded labor of repair was an emotional act/balance between losing and preserving memory.
Thinking more deeply about emotion as medium and labor, my recent wall works (Weep, Creep, and most importantly Draw a Memory and Lose It) reflect an emotional labor as an act of mending, forgetting, preserving, or losing in response to the feeling of emptiness.
To construct or repair a wall is an act of total erasure, yet equally an act of preservation, to conceal away each dent or ‘memory’ mark that has been left behind on its surface. The emotional medium becomes so attached to the physical act of labor that it becomes hard to discern, and in doing so, engenders the work with presence.