Karen Kratch Exhibition
“Forget Me Not”
Tuesday, February 21st, 5-8 PM
Wednesday, February 21st – Friday, February 25th, 10 AM – 8 PM
There is something about man-kind that causes us to try to make a lasting impression in the world. Humans are the only beings that try to leave something permanent behind, in order to be remembered. But it doesn’t matter what we do; nothing lasts forever. We all strive for importance and meaning. But if all we want is to be remembered, they why do we forget so easily? And sometimes, we strive to forget.
Forget Me Not uses photo-based imagery to investigate ideas of memory, decay, abandonment and confinement. Abandoned mental institutions become the source of discussion, relating the physical deterioration of the buildings to the forgotten memories of those who were imprisoned there. These places once existed with the purpose of confining people—locking them away from the rest of society, allowing them to be forgotten. They were places of abandoned and forgotten prisoners shut away from those they loved most. Now, empty and without the souls they were so dependent upon, the institutions have been left to deteriorate and be forgotten. And as the concrete crumbles and Mother Nature overtakes the obstacles that man has put in her way, we slowly forget about the place and the people who have occupied it and gave it meaning at one time.
Imagine being shut away from society, forgotten about by your family and left to die in a confining prison. That is what it was like for the “patients” in mental institutions of past generations. Tortured. Forgotten. Unwanted. And now the places are just as unwanted and forgotten as the people whose lives they contained.