Colleen Caporal’s a half-remembered life is an act of pasteurization. On display at the Pratt Institute Digital Arts Gallery until November 12, 2010, her images celebrate that which is left behind when a family photo album is boiled free from the grief bacterium. The obsessive process of re-photographing by which each piece was constructed mirrors the conscience of the bereft human being, who both craves to remember her mother’s loving embrace and desires to be free of the complementary memory of its loss.
The work’s palette is warm with the radiance of human bodies: the glow of a father’s arm reaching for a daughter or the robust light that falls upon a mother’s chin when filtered through her baby’s blond hair. Every piece floats off the wall, pinned down at only two corners. “You can touch them,” Caporal says, and you do—it makes sense to press your fingers to the paper, acting out the intimacy that is rehearsed in each image.
Anchored at the gallery’s center by the presentation of two letters (one from living mother to artist and the other from artist to the ghost of mother inside her head) and a collection of photographs from Caporal’s early childhood, the series of eight images takes on a narrative. The visual gesture toward the smallest physical connections reminds us that we can use up our whole lives yearning for a sensation so ingrained in our humanity that we barely even remember it existing at all.
a half-remembered life
November 8-12, 2010
MFA Digital Arts Thesis Exhibition
Pratt Institute, Dept. of Digital Arts
536 Myrtle Avenue, 4th Floor Gallery