All Our Tomorrows and Yesterdays, Proof Gallery, Boston, MA

2013 | Group Exhibition |

History is a malleable enterprise subject to the whims and desires of its writers. In this process, photographs become enunciations of the selected truths we use to inform ourselves about the past. The artists in this exhibition prefer another move: through intense investigations of the present, the included paintings, drawings, objects, and narratives fold imagined pasts and futures back onto today. We are implicated in the invented politics, photo-based colors, and historical frameworks that remain recognizable in paint, pencil, and assemblage.

As an alternative to the stipulations of photographs and their supporting texts, the brush, pencil, and object can enact the past (remains) and future (results) as an alternative model for understanding the present (or as yet unfixed history). Instead of relying on the assertion of technological record, they imagine what never was or what may not be. The works presented here are revisions to what is already known. They examine conditions such as dread, cynicism, apathy, hope, fear—all of which are apparent in the constant flow of information we call history. Susan Sontag once noted that the constant flow of technological imagery produces ‘collective instruction’, not collective memory. Using the flow of image-based information in history as their point of departure, the artists here fabricate memory in both forward and backward orientations, compromising the familiar politics of historical determinism.

With works by Sean Downey, Mary Mattingly, and Eric Petitti
Curated by Scott Patrick Wiener