I Remember Another Way...: A group online exhibition featuring the combined photography work of 4 artists.

4 March - 10 May 2024
The Contemporary Art Modern Project presents I Remember Another Way…: A Group Online Exhibition featuring artists Carol Erb, Alice De Kruijs, Marisa S. White and Naomi White.
In the online exhibition I Remember Another Way, artists Carol Erb, Alice De Kruijs, Marisa S. White, and Naomi White all experiment with Surrealist elements in their photographic process. Throughout the exhibition, the viewer follows the artists as they each uniquely explore varying layers of the human psyche in relation to the material world. As the late Langston Hughes asked, “what happens to a dream deferred?” In I Remember Another Way… the viewer is presented with the possible results of Hughes’ question.
As society has advanced, the human connection to the natural world has weaned. Carol Erb depicts fictional animals displaced from their environment, confined to what appears to be isolated forgotten spaces. The animals in photographs such as Veldt and Solitary, once powerful, wild, and free are now trapped. By removing these animals from their natural context, we turn the focus to questions about their purpose. Erb’s photographs give the impression that humans are not too dissimilar from the animals featured; both, removed from their environment and pushed into the confines of society.
Marisa S. White begins to explore the subconscious effects of these confines. Similar to Erb, White’s photographs features people and animals in isolated spaces. However, unlike the figures in Erb’s images, White’s figures appear to be interested in the world outside the confines. Pieces like Unseen This Eternal Waiting and My Darling, What If You Fly?, imply a calm curiosity as opposed to a fearful attempt to escape. In pieces like, The Reason and Seeking True North, White separates the viewer from societal context as the figures, now liberated, float amongst the clouds far away from the pressures of society. White invites the viewer to step into this dream-like state as a world outside the confines is attempted to be imagined.
Naomi White, however, brings the viewer back to reality (somewhat) as she toes the line between the subconscious and conscious realm. White features stones in an unidentified open plain depicting varying scenes from human history. These collective memories seeping into the fictional world then become a symbol for the ability of cultural hegemony to seep into the subconscious realms of humanity. While the viewer remains in a dream-like state extracted from the confines of reality, White also demonstrates the chokehold societal pressure holds over anyone attempting to imagine another way of living. In the Traces of Real series, White returns the viewer to Earth, however, elements of the subconscious continue to creep in represented by giant colorful cloud-like objects floating in the sky. These cloud-like objects act as a nod to the experimental nature of imagining a world outside confines from Marisa S. White’s photographs.
Alice De Kruijs' photographs, depicting humanoid figures and realistic spaces, appear real but also retain the dream-like elements as each previous artist has experimented with. Shrouded figures in Waters of Bangladesh 8 and 11, accompany the viewer as they enter this real or imagined paradise. The viewer is then met with the gaze of long, almost god-like, humanoid figures from the Sahara Giants series. The locked gaze of the figures presents a welcoming aura, as if the arrival of the viewer was expected.
Throughout the exhibition the main challenge has been deciphering reality from fiction, conscious versus subconscious. Each artist oscillates the viewer between the deeper connected realm of humanity and the superficial realm of our industrial reality. It is now the responsibility of the viewer to decide if imagining a world outside cultural hegemony is a true possibility or if the concept of Utopia is doomed to remain confined within the human subconscious solely as an idea. “Does a dream deferred] dry up like a raisin in the sun?”, as Hughes asked. Humanity has marched one path for centuries, only the bold can imagine a new path.
Curation and Statement by Nicole Zambrano