Within Living Memory, Renée Green’s exhibition at CCVA

Renée Green. Americas : Veritas, 2018 Still. Courtesy of the artist and Free Agent Media
ACT at MIT

Within Living Memory

Exhibition: February 1 – April 15, 2018
Opening Reception: February 1 from 6:00-8:00pm

“There is an excess that seeps out of the schematic, and it is this created tension/space—interval, break, interstice—that I’d like to probe.”

Renée Green, from her essay Certain Obliquenesses (2016)

Renée Green’s exhibition Within Living Memory is a meditation spurred by inhabiting an architectural icon—Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (CCVA)—while exploring the historical and institutional legacies of modernism’s other aesthetic forms, including cinema, visual art, poetry, music, and literature. Within Living Memory brings together interconnected bodies of work produced by Green over the past decade that address conditions of residency and displacement, subjective experience, institutional memory, notions of progress, and the inevitability of decay. The encounters that unfold through films, videos, sound works, photographs, banners, and prints draw linkages between the forms and concepts of seriality, modularity, and refrain.

Many bodies of work on display will be exhibited for the first time in the Eastern United States, including the premiere of Americas : Veritas (2018), a moving-image work produced for the exhibition. In this new work, Green positions Le Corbusier’s Cambridge-situated Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts in dialogue with his Casa Curutchet, located in La Plata, Argentina, as the architect’s only two built structures in the Americas, despite Le Corbusier’s ambition to apply his sweeping urbanistic vision to locations on both continents.

Including Green’s recent essay films ED/HF (2017), Walking in NYL (2016), and Begin Again, Begin Again (2015), Within Living Memory advances new visual and aural linkages between diverse international figures and sites, spanning Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. In other time-based works, Green connects Viennese émigré architect Rudolf M. Schindler, literary luminaries Gertrude Stein, Laura (Riding) Jackson, and Muriel Rukeyser, and polymaths and activists Albert Einstein and Paul Robeson.

The final installment of Renée Green: Pacing, the artist’s two-year residency at the CCVA,Within Living Memory also showcases a rare presentation of Green’s installation Secret (1993, 2006, 2010). Comprised of a video in three parts, two soundtracks in English and French, along with 73 black-and-white photographs, Secret reflects on the artist’s experience inhabiting a semi-deserted apartment in Le Corbusier’s concrete housing block, Unité d’habitation, located in Firminy, France. Designed in 1952 as a utopian proposal for collective living, Green encountered the iconic housing complex as a “modern ruin” when she was invited to participate in the 1993 group exhibition “Project Unité.”

Juxtaposing fragments of language and images, colors, sounds, and spatial arrangements, the variety of works that form Within Living Memory connect us to others like and unlike ourselves, operating as a salient reminder that cultural history is never fixed but constantly reframed, and must be reimagined from our ever-evolving vantage point of now.

An exhibition booklet featuring an essay and descriptive texts by art historian and CCVA scholar-in-residence Gloria Sutton will be available at the exhibition.

The exhibition’s public programming will include a conversation with the artist and  distinguished avant-garde American dancer, choreographer, and filmmaker Yvonne Rainer on April 12, 2018.