Artifacts of Affection: Features the expanded paintings and sculpture by Rachael Zur. The works for the exhibition center on a room's ability to hold the essence of a person after they are no longer in the space. Zur believes that there is a residue of lives lived embedded in the rooms that we move through, and in the objects that artists make. Though this work depicts ordinary objects from living rooms belonging to people she has loved and lost, it's not grief that she is interested in conveying in her work, but the residue of the affection that is left behind.
Zur is a recent MFA graduate of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Interim Chair of Gallery 114
Sue's green leather sofa was cool to the touch perfect for napping and dreaming she was not just an adult who believed in me, she was giving me a place to stay
upon my last visit to Marianne's home I sat on her emerald corduroy couch, gathering the remnants of our conversations finding, in her absence, that the walls of the home generously held her wisdom
when Kat's son was born, we took turns holding him on her sage sofa I relive the memory over and over to see the way the light moved on the walls illuminating dust particles in the air, hoping to remember his newborn baby smell
the green couches belonging to each friend become a singular place in my memory a fiction where I find the shape of a love letter that I am composing about my life and the friends who became kin
we should all be so lucky as to have a green couch an artifact from the place where we made room for another
Your Home, To Me
Organizing trinkets and bric-a-brac on my dresser gave me a place of belonging as a child The ceramic container made by my late father was my most valued possession.
I still carefully arrange my mementos in each new place I live: My father's pottery, my children's drawings, and the porcelain dragon my grandmother made
The last two times I moved, I carefully packed my childbirth manuals and fetoscope I cherish these relics from my unassisted home births even though I will never need them again.
My friend Marianne constructed a cosmos in her living room of small marble sculptures and drawings she had made
I recognized her past, present, and future in the items placed around her home: A picture of her in her 20's next to a recent award from the historical society
In her kitchen she saved notes from my children next to pictures of her grandchild It was clear who we were to each other through this gesture
She began to have anxiety about the state of her house Which I didn't understand because her home was so well maintained .
I failed to see that when she was talking about her house She meant her body
After her death when going through her home My eldest child wrote a farewell poem for Marianne's house and placed it on the dining room table.
in the shed, crooked nails left to be hammered out tell me of the person's life during the Great Depression
I found a wooden block in there with "be my valentine" carved on it I kept it, because its clumsiness felt familiar
under the house my husband found a gas pipe plugged with a wine cork I guess this is how people solve problems
when I painted over the wallpaper in the bedroom I could see that there was a second layer of wallpaper beneath it
our relationship with homes is symbolic the building shelters our bodies, and we slow the house's demise which comes long after us
in all the excess some items assert themselves immediately
the ceramic lamp my father made sits next to my bed acting as a sun with a gravitational pull my dresser becomes an orbiting planet
other dated items become discarded only in time do I understand their significance at which points it is too late to reclaim my grandmother's lamp by the harvest gold couch in her living room
I find the couch a million times over again in thrift stores but the lamp is gone the universe of her small home dissolved
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