Review by Janine Sleem, History of Art and Design Graduate Student (2013)
Memory, our ability to store and recollect, is shared. How well we are able to recollect them varies. Diluted, currently on view at the Alcove Gallery, is a collaborative exploration of memory and its recollection by first year student Frankie Waite and second year graduate student Lauren Smith.
|Frances Waite, "Sister in the Water" 2011|
Old habits die hard for Waite, whose affinity for painting reveals itself in her photography. She takes to manipulating the medium as she does watercolor and ink, exposing the film to the sunlight and salt water rather than altering it digitally. The results appear to have been painted by the natural elements they portray. The exposure reveals both the vulnerability of the grainy film, and that of Waite's own memory. Waite reinforces the authenticity of the moment by allowing us to not only see the events unfold as she did, but to experience the blanks that her mind's eye and her camera's lens failed to capture and preserve.
While the water is a trigger and an applied medium for Frankie Waite's memories and photographs respectively, for Lauren Smith, the ocean waves are the subject matter she attempts to remember and the culprit in denying her the ability to do so. Pixelated waters and white noise dilute the memories that Smith struggles to recapture.
|Lauren Smith, "Untitled", 2011|
Like Waite, Smith ventures into the realm of fading memories using the natural elements of the scene, an attempt to fill in the forgotten with the familiar; Waite through the use of the actual elements, and Smith through digital manipulation. Smith's work, however, exhibits a self-awareness that Waite's work does not, a realization that the image is only a temporary recollection, a realization that is met with a heavy resistance.
Diluted addresses the very human concern of passing time, ephemeral memories, and ultimately, our own ephemeral existence.