Memory, the game

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Post by Alex Tryon

At Laura Hutton’s show at Nexus, “Memory: The Palest Ink”, I participated in a game of Memory, a favorite childhood pastime with a new depth to it.

The show consists of 25 works on paper. The first piece in the series presents 16 solid white cards on a white background, an intriguing start. As cards are flipped and pairs discovered, the artist reveals a subtle, beautiful design on each card. By placing quotes about memory by individuals such as Abraham Lincoln, Shakespeare, and Freud under each card, Hutton brings the viewer to consider both the task of remembering which cards match and contemplating the role memory plays in our lives.

This mixture of aesthetic pleasure and compelling quotes kept me interested until the last quote was revealed–“The palest ink is better than the best memory.” The quote is a Chinese proverb that sums up the quiet color and philosophical message of the work completely.

I left realizing how large a role memory played in my life, considering my need to live in the present.

–Alex Tryon is a student in Colette Copeland’s art criticism writing class at the University of Pennsylvania

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