Based on a True Story at Marshall Arts - SATURDAY
Marshall Arts639 Marshall Ave.Memphis, TN 38103"Based on a True Story"Featuring the work of Chris Miner, Matthew Garrison and, Yeon Jin KimCurated by Joel CarreiroJan 12-Feb. 9, 2013Opening receptionSaturday Jan.12, 6 to 9 pmPeople everywhere tell stories, (romantic, epic, tragic) and use many different forms to do so, (songs, novels, films, diaries). Story-telling is a primary way people respond to life and try to understand it as it flows by.Often a book or film will be said to be “based on a true story” to offset the sense that it is fabricated or simply based on fantasy. This is a bid for authenticity, as “true stories” are considered more “real” and therefore carry more weight than their fictional peers. Of course any story has been shaped and structured in order to be a story at all – some things are edited or omitted and others are highlighted, so in a sense there is only fiction. We have little real access to the truth of a situation and only have a severely limited view of reality, restricted as we are by our limited senses and brains.The artists in “Based on a True Story” use narrative in their works in a variety of ways.Chris Miner’s videos include autobiographical fragments, ruminative monologues family history, dramatic events, and sometimes allegorical or iconic elements. He often appears in his works as a version of himself and sometimes adopts other personae, complicating the author/character relationship and problematizing the reliability of the narration. His works vary greatly but always dig into crucial issues of meaning, orientation, faith, doubt and human relationship.Matthew Garrison’s videos also complicate the issue of the real and the fictional, combining, for example, documentary footage from the Iraq war with sequences from D.W. Griffiths films. His huge photographic works show thousands of empty rooms pulled from website chat rooms, begging the stories of these nameless participants in “social media”. Similarly his video sculpture of a wishing well summons the wishes represented by the coins thrown by countless unknown dreamers.Yeon Jin Kim makes scroll drawings hundreds of feet long and builds models and sets out of common household materials, which she then films to make narrative videos. Often a destabilized point of view is established by the placement of the camera in unconventional locations; hidden in a small handmade train pulled slowly past the drawings and models or falling-floating above the scenes. The settings for her stories range from a city-sized spaceship to a forest peopled by creatures and hybrids resulting from altered evolutionary trajectories, but these imagined worlds always refer back to our own.