The Chicago Artists Coalition is pleased to present Of Memories and Forgetfulness, a HATCH Projects exhibition featuring artists Caroline Liu, Pooja Pittie, and Brittney Leeanne Williams.
The ability to remember and forget performs an important role in our lives and is linked to the questions we ask ourselves. According to postcolonial theorist, Françoise Verges, “the mechanism of forgetfulness has ramifications far beyond the importance it has played in psychoanalysis.” She goes on to quote Sigmund Freud in noting that “forgetfulness is not left to psychic arbitrariness, but that it follows lawful and rational paths.” Memory, on the other hand, remains in constant flux, susceptible to the analysis of remembering and forgetting, unaware of its successive distortions, vulnerable to manipulation, predisposed to being long dormant and periodically revived. Remembering and forgetting almost always occur in tandem.
In Of Memories and Forgetfulness, the artists’ reclamation of memory, evident in their work, functions as a counter-hegemonic act asserting their agency and subjectivity. Through explorations of identity and personal narrative these artists use memory as a tool of recognition. Utilizing the almost ritualistic form of recalling, this act of remembering solidifies and grounds each artists firmly in the present. Brittney Leeanne Williams’ work explores remembered narratives of race, invisibility, and state-sponsored violence. Pooja Pittie’s abstract paintings recall her ability to move freely while confronting her progressive muscle disability. Caroline Liu’s work tackles her short-term memory loss while grappling with feelings of vulnerability.
Of Memories and Forgetfulness is curated by Sheridan Tucker.
Caroline Liu is an artist who creates paintings that visually navigate the inner workings of her concussed mind. Four years ago, a solid wood door fell several feet onto her head and her short-term memory never fully recovered. Her work became a therapeutic practice and vehicle for self-exploration and documentation of her everyday struggles as a person with irreparable memory loss. Through repetitive patterns, mark making, and textural floral elements, her paintings depict personal narratives that focus on feelings of identity, vulnerability, and loss.
Pooja Pittie is a visual artist who lives and works in Chicago. Born and raised in India, she studied finance and accounting and moved to the U.S. in 1999. Pooja relocated to Chicago to pursue an MBA from the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, which led her to a career in finance and entrepreneurship. In late 2015, she decided to follow her lifelong passion for art and shifted her focus to painting full-time. Pooja has an incurable and progressive form of muscular dystrophy and uses painting as a way to capture some of the movement she has lost through her disability. Along with the HATCH residency, Pooja is also a participant of the Spring 2017 Bridge Program at the Hyde Park Art Center.
Brittney Leeanne Williams is a Chicago-based studio artist who is originally from LA. She attended the School of the Art Institute from 2008-2009. Her work has exhibited in Los Angeles, Chicago, Madison, WI, and Ann Arbor, MI. This spring she will have work exhibited in San Francisco's Luggage Store Gallery as well as exhibit work in the Art Incubator's Petty Biennial. She also does conceptual work, including set design for the short film Self-Deportation (which has screened at film festivals nationally and internationally, including the 15th Annual DC Asian Pacific American Film Festival and the Pineapple Underground Film Festival, Hong Kong). Currently a resident of Chicago Artist Coalition's HATCH residency, Brittney will also be a resident at the notable Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture Residency this summer.
Sheridan Tucker is a curator and art historian who is interested in exploring cultural phenomena through visual art. Sheridan seeks to introduce new ideas of inclusion and diversity in arts institutions through cultural pluralism and community engagement. She is currently a Curatorial Fellow for Diversity in the Arts at the Museum of Contemporary Photography and a Curatorial Research Assistant at the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts. She has a BA in Visual and Critical Studies from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and an MA in Art History from the University of Chicago.