There is a bleak emptiness to the downstairs studio at Modern Art Oxford even though it is full of carefully arranged objects. Perhaps the grid-like meticulous layout of items on the wall by the door is a nod to memory maps that can help trigger learning. This mixed media show has two video recordings playing simultaneously, one has the growing dots of far off galaxies glowing as if not to be forgotten.
There are recordings of groups of old ladies singing war songs as if from their memoirs. Collectively this is a moving account of how we remember events. The show has been created by young people of Oxfordshire after collaboration with dementia sufferers and put together by artist Jon Lockhart, writer Samina Baig and filmmaker Nicola Armitage.
The work is intelligent in offering insights into memory without using nostalgia. There is an ambition to the eclectic collection of items that has been included which gives the show a professional quality. A multi-coloured bicycle adorns one of the walls and on circular floating tables white plastic old-fashioned telephones sit waiting to be answered.
The question of what memory is all about and the purpose of it lies in the air a little like the overall message of the room making this an interesting space to spend time in. With lots of events to remember this year, the topic being explored is prescient. All who are connected with producing this memorable and engaging exhibition deserve much credit.
Lita Doolan (DI Reviewer), 05/06/12
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