Graduate curatorial candidates tackle kinship and memory


Dominican American artist and Roski Master of Arts candidate Joiri Minaya with her work featured in the “one never remembers alone” curatorial exhibition.

A new exhibit and public program series at the new Roski Graduate Gallery in L.A.’s Arts District arrived Wednesday. Organized and curated by the 2020 Master of Arts candidates in the Curatorial Practices and the Public Sphere program, the new exhibit titled “one never remembers alone: visual transmission of kinship and memory” seeks to explore the idea of memory — specifically that of cultural heritage — as it is experienced across time and space. 

According to a November press release from the Roski School of Art and Design, the artists featured in this exhibition work in a variety of media, ranging from painting and photography to performance and sculpture. They also have cultural ties to countries such as El Salvador, Jamaica and Vietnam. 

While the artists differ in their respective media types, each seeks to reflect on their individual and shared lineages. The title of the exhibit is derived from the idea of cultural identity and shared memory as forms of social phenomena. As such, “one never remembers alone” takes a critical lens to diaspora and dispossession across various generations and focuses on how both affect the formation of collective memory. 

An example from the exhibition is a photomontage series by Ann Le titled “World Wars,” 2019. In her work, Le overlays a historical image (depicted in black and white) and a personal photograph (depicted in color). In doing this, Le communicates the memories of home, disruption and displacement as experienced by her culture and her family over generations. 

Another example is a still shot from a video created by Sebastián Hernández titled “BROWN ZERO,” 2016, which depicts a central figure dressed in indigenous regalia surrounded by a colorful laser light display. In this piece, Hernandez plays on the concept of “ground zero,” a phrase often used when referring to a place of destruction and desolation, to comment on the multi-generational trauma inflicted on many indigenous populations as a result of colonialism. 

The 2020 M.A. candidates who organized the exhibition include Loujain Bager, Eve Moeykens-Arballo, Bianca Moran, Carlo Tuason and Joseph Valencia. Participating artists include Amal Amer, Beatriz Cortez, Maria Dumlao, Hernández, Le, Joiri Minaya, Boone Nguyen and Adee Roberson. 

 The exhibition will be on display at the Roski Graduate Gallery from Jan. 15 to Feb. 2, Wednesday through Sunday or by appointment.