Jon Rafman


Jon Rafman

Work from You Are Standing in an Open Field.

“…Journeys through virtual landscapes form the heart of Jon Rafman’s current show, expressing his continuing search for lost loves, ideals and cultures. Alongside this, Rafman foregrounds his ongoing exploration into the nature of memory conveyed through intimations of archaeology and anthropology, highlighting the way that we rely on objects to locate our relationship to the past. Sculpture, video, and mixed media installation express the material form that memory takes.

The historical impulse to make sacred what is lost becomes all the more urgent when we consider contemporary technologies and online cultures. Rafman encases not-yet-vanished cultures in the form of sham relics or false monuments in order to both recognize their historical value and to critique contemporary amnesia. In his works, ephemeral cultures meet the solidity of constructed artifact. In Rafman’s version of archaeology, a large finely engraved stone carving commemorates not fallen war heroes but the names of defunct New York state shopping malls. By using sham ruins to evoke an historical gaze on these contemporary cultural objects, Rafman changes the meaning of both and raises the question of what exactly we are remembering when we visit a museum, when we look at a memorial, or when we click on a broken web- link…” – via Zach Feuer Gallery

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