past Exhibition

    Adriana Trujillo and José Inerzia, still, Skin Destination, 2012. Single-channel color digital video projection with sound and English subtitles, running time: 10 minutes. Courtesy of the artists

    Christian Widmer, Fifteen Frames From Widmer Family Disc Camera 1982, 2005, from the series “The Snake That Swallowed Its Tail,” 2005. Chromogenic print mounted to board, 40 x 40 inches. Courtesy of the artist. © Christian Widmer

    Remember Not Remember

    Matthew Buckingham, Situation Leading to a Story, 1999. Single channel black-and-white 16mm film projection with sound, running time: 21 minutes, dimensions variable. Courtesy of the artist and Murray Guy, New York. © Matthew Buckingham

    Hollis Frampton, still from (nostalgia), 1971 from “Hapax Legomena I,” 1971. Projection of digitized single channel black-and-white 16mm film with sound, running time: 36 minutes. Courtesy of the Estate of Hollis Frampton and Anthology Film Archives, New York

    Motion picture still from Kahlil Joseph, m.A.A.d., 2014. Two-channel film work with audio; High definition digital; running time: 15 min 26 sec. Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. © Kahlil Joseph

    Yto Barrada, Hand-Me Downs, 2011. 16mm and 8mm film transferred to single-channel color digital video with sound, 5:4 format, running time: 15 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Pace Gallery, London; Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Beirut; and Galerie Polaris, Paris. © Yto Barrada

I Remember Not Remembering

February 11 – April 30, 2017


Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.

—Marcel Proust (1871 – 1922), In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way, 1913

We devise the stories of our lives from a mix of recollection and fabrication amidst a web of relationships: parents, children, siblings, friends and lovers. I Remember Not Remembering presents 12 internationally renowned artists who use personal home movies, photo albums and film footage as raw material for artworks. Yto Barrada and collaborative pair Adriana Trujillo and José Inerzia interweave their family histories with the political and social transitions in 1960s postcolonial Morocco and 1970s Mexico. Filmmaker Kahlil Joseph merges snapshots and family videos with contemporary scenes of Compton to create a portrait of Los Angeles 20 years after the 1992 race riots. Larry Sultan’s grid of 44 home-movie stills draws a rough outline of the artist’s 1960s suburban California upbringing. The films of Matthew Buckingham and Hollis Frampton question whether truth and history are irreconcilable ideas. Christian Boltanski, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Christian Widmer, and Hannah Wilke dwell upon mortality and intimacy.

These 12 artists also experiment with techniques championed in the late 1950s and early 1960s by avant-garde French New Wave directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Chris Marker and François Truffaut. The video, 16mm film and photographic artworks presented in I Remember Not Remembering employ found materials and autobiographical voice-over narration to tell a larger story about political and social changes. Like the New Wave directors, the artists utilize these techniques to upend the traditional linear narrative structure associated with film. Their disruptions are intended to jar viewers out of complacent viewing and encourage them to reflect upon their personal experiences, emotions and relationships.

Each artwork in I Remember Not Remembering invokes a believable but unstable portrayal of kinship, a societal shift or personal tragedy. Technicolor scenes of marching bands, road trips, Christmas holidays and school parades arouse a wistful nostalgia that generates a seeming authenticity. Audible above the soft click and whirr of analog projectors, unreliable narrators commingle fact and invention, gently manipulating our presumptions about the dependability of photographs and the immutability of time and memory.

ARTISTS: Yto Barrada, Christian Boltanski, Matthew Buckingham, Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Miller, Hollis Frampton, Kahlil Joseph, Larry Sultan, Adriana Trujillo and José Inerzia, Christian Widmer and Hannah Wilke


Organized by Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Sponsored by the Jane A. Lehman and Alan G. Lehman Foundation.