Amelia Hooning / Yael Nov
July 6 - 12, 2012
Although we both clearly dealt with memory in our work prior to 2010, I think the studio art program in London that we both participated in that summer was formative in shaping how we think about memory. The theme of the program was pilgrimage and our studio project was to create a pilgrimage book, a collection of collages made from visual and material ephemera collected from our adventures around the city. This turned us immediately into hoarders. Everywhere we went we stuffed our pockets with postcards, maps, pamphlets and receipts, anything and everything becoming a potential collage material. We were encouraged to think about these materials as relics, vessels of our experiences. But throughout the process of creating our books, the question remained: did these materials really contain our memories? Or were we using them to fabricate new memories? Are our experiences indexically recorded on these materials? Or are they simply simulacra of those memories?
Now, a year and a half later, Yael and I are returning to the imagery that we collected while in London. One of the “relics” of the trip was a book of novelty textile patterns from the V&A. Novelty patterns, by their very nature, are not utilitarian. The ones in this book date mainly from the interwar period and tended to appear originally on vacation attire, summer clothes and swimwear—items intended to be short-lasted. Thus, both the patterns and the garments they appeared on spoke to a certain luxury and decadence. The purpose of the V&A is to preserve these patterns, protecting them against the ravages of time and decay.
For our Violet Strays collaboration, we want to return a sense of materiality and temporality to these patterns (in keeping with Violet Strays’ emphasis on ephemerality). To achieve this, we will each print out our favorite pattern from the book and treat the prints as talismans, carrying them around and keeping them with us at all times for a week (the length of our installation on Violet Strays). Each night we will scan the prints, documenting the creases, fingerprints, tears and stains that accumulate on them. Our installation on Violet Strays will be similarly cumulative, starting the first day with only the first pair of scans (one from each of us) and then adding a new pair of scans each day. This project will bridge both our practices, treating the scans simultaneously as objects and images, vessels of memory and mute surfaces.
BIO: Amelia Hooning is an artist, art historian, and editor living between Seattle and Vancouver, BC. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2012 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honors in Photomedia. Her research interests include art historiography, re-enactment, the legacy of modernism, and the history of design and ornament; these inform both her art practice and art history practice.
Yael Nov grew up in Seattle and now lives and works in Los Angeles. After completing her BFA and BA at University of Washington, Yael received her MFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Working in images and sculpture, she examines the inextricable ties between fragility and strength, blurring the lines between them. Informed by her family's history as well as her time living in Israel, landscape, memory, and the body become sites for this examination of opposing forces.