May 29, 2009 - The Lining of Forgetting at the  Austin Museum of Art
     When selecting works for the new exhibit at the Austin Museum of Art - which opened tonight - curator Xandra Eden said that her grandmother's Alzheimer's disease was one of her major inspirations.  Realizing that the disease affects not just the patient, but the family and extended family, she used that experience to guide her to works that reflected how individual memories work to support personal and collective identities.
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     For The Lining of Forgetting: Internal and External Memory in Art, Eden brought together the works of 14 international artists, to explore the activity of remembering and forgetting.  And our reliance on digital media to record and store our past is reflected in several of the pieces.
   For example, Cody Trepte took family snapshots from his childhood, and converted them into binary code (a program that he said he wrote himself).  Trepte then bound the pages of code into plain black books - a second language describing the picture.  With only a written description of the original photograph on the cover of each book (such as opening presents on Christmas morning), his work invites the viewer to conjure their own version of the photo from the description, and place themselves in the moment as their imagination envisions it.  

To Be Continued...

(Image: A page from “Ode à L’Oubli” by Louise Bourgeois; photo by Christopher Burke)