UTA Artist Space presents Sites of Memory curated by Essence Harden in her first collaboration with the venue, featuring artists Noel W Anderson, Gideon Appah, Natalie Ball, Pamela Council, Janvia Ellis, Anique Jordan, Lebohang Kganye, Basil Kincaid, John A Rivas, Adee Roberson, and Muzae Sesay.
Sites of Memory considers how the act of remembering is a site of critical and generative excess. Contained to reverie, remembering resides in an illimitable space, extending out and in towards what was or what perhaps or what could have been. Finding utility in the photographic strategy of the snapshot, where spontaneity and chance hold the capacity to formulate volumes on otherwise ephemeral moments, this exhibition explores the sensory components in such wanted desires. Titled after Toni Morrison’s essay, “The Site of Memory,” the show is guided by her notion that “the act of imagination is bound up with memory” and that remembering is the modality of visions.
The exhibition pivots the work of image-making to a multitude of artistic mediums and materials. Images are exhibited as abstracted paintings, sculptural arrangements, print assemblages, photographic forms, installations, and collage. Diasporic pull, familial legacy, architectural scapes, queered futures, national belonging, and satirical gestures are surveyed as rich sites. The mark of the snap is considered here as an entry to other worlds of image making where snapshots are a task of memory, offering a litany of proof of what mattered then to suggest what is worth remembering now.
“Essence is a curator with an eye on the future of the art world,” said Partner & Creative Director of UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space Arthur Lewis. “She creates compelling stories from the African diaspora in ways that never leave you. This show is a perfect example of how she is able to place her finger on the heartbeat of this cultural moment. We are really proud to be the home for her talents to shine.”
Harden has curated exhibitions at Human Resources, Oakland Museum of California, El Segundo Museum of Art, Eduardo Secci Contemporary, California African American Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Museum of the African Diaspora, among others. She is also a contributor to several publications and has written catalog entries for several exhibitions, including Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrow; Brave New Worlds: Exploration of Space; and What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts. Additionally, she is the recipient of The Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and is an Annenberg Innovation Lab Civic Media Fellow.