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Jeri Coppola

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My work both past and present has been largely focused on memory. Selective memory, reconstructed memory, supplanted memory, physical memory that is stored in the body (in the brain, the muscles, the synapses.) My fascination with memory is not only with its power over emotion, but also its inherent flaws. Memory is without objectivity or stasis and yet we continually try to hold it accountable to truth. We are loyal to the memory and it delivers us to familiar ground. Using photographs, slides, text-based installations and sculptures, I have worked to bridge the permeable, internal landscape of memory to the external
landscape around us. I locate memory in the corporal body, where it has both a mental and physical dimension. I extend it out from there to create a map, a series of correlations between thought and the physical world. In this work, corporal bodies as well as the landscape of nature (trees, sky, rocks) act as supplementary wards of our memory. - Through the repetition of images in photographs (clasped hands, breaking waves, parsed guard-rails, saltbox houses) and the overlapping of materials (on paper, metal, glue) a central image is often rendered blurry or contextually unfamiliar, to mirror the way memories are often found and seen. This, along with the fact that the works are often all constructed of numerous small parts, is an attempt to invoke the layered strata of remembering. Black and white photographs are made three-dimensional with accordion folds, rocks are trapped precariously on wires, lucite boxes become cages for water. All are pieced together with intentionally visible seams, and the viewer is given an exposed reconstruction of traveling. The traveling one does in recollection. While each piece predictably varies in medium and size, each is also of deliberately different weight, reflecting the varying weights memories carry. Inviting the viewer to become part of my memory recollected, I give physical landmarks their own symbols and language. Trees become thought, oceans become breath, deserts become a substitute for skin.
In this body of work everything holds memory, and every place we look, we see a way in. At the center of this series is my conviction that there are few absolute facts, but the ones we agree to accept, become real.
Jeri Coppola
New York, NY
New York
North America

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