TR Ericsson, 1936-1942, 2023 / Courtesy the artist and TOTAH
TR Ericsson: Letters from Home
Sep 7 – Nov 4, 2023
TOTAH
New York, USA

TR Ericsson’s Letters from Home is at once archival, vestigial, and documentarian. Actual letters from Ericsson’s mother (who died by suicide in 2003) permeate the objects and situations he recreates across various media – ranging from oil paintings and screen prints, to pieces of powdered bone melted into raw linen and one nearly 1,000 pound granite sculpture.

While Ericsson’s photo-based recreations of family, friends, their heirlooms, their carefully arranged domestic interiors, are known for arriving at universal truths through the artist’s deeply personal relationship with his mother, Letters from Home invokes a particular sense of a place as much as history. In works like Day is Done, and The Fireplace, viewers pick up on some greater architectural precedent in relation to which an assortment of books on a bookshelf, or a fireplace studded with keepsakes, souvenirs, and mementos, comes to life as the expression of an actual dwelling place.

[ . . . ]

Throughout Letters from Home, Ericsson is interested in a single person – his mother. He painstakingly recreates her letters, like gestural ciphers to her psyche, not so much out of loyalty, as out of love. Translating the particulars of his mother’s life into a universal sigil of complex social relationships – blurring the line between artifact and art, memory and the radiating expanse of history as it extends into an originary abyss – an ever-displaced sense of context reaches past the scrim of quotidian appearance towards a sheer involvement with the entropic nature of time. Ericsson’s exhumations bring to light an essential insight as articulated by the poet Li-Young Lee: “If love doesn’t prevail, who wants to live in this world?”

  • Zhanna Kadyrova: Border Memory
    Feb 17 – May 5, 2024
    Uppsala Art Museum
    Uppsala, Sweden

    Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova lets urban materials such as asphalt, concrete and tiles bear witness to history’s many layers of rearrangements, visions and shattered dreams. The artist works in a post-minimalist tradition, and the spatial installations refer both to utopian movements and to how abstraction in art is linked to the modern project. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion in 2022, Kadyrova’s art has focused entirely on psychological and sociological aspects of the war. (more…)

  • How we remember tomorrow
    Feb 13 – Jun 15, 2024
    University of Queensland Art Museum
    Brisbane, Australia

    How we remember tomorrow celebrates storytelling across generations, through oceans and waterways and transcending eras and perspectives. Featured artists understand the watery spaces of our planet as ancestral archives: sources of knowledge that carry stories and cultural practices. Alongside their kin, they honour intergenerational narratives that are disseminated along ocean currents despite ongoing colonial legacies of forced displacement, homeland dispossession, indenture and the loss or dormancy of vital cultural practices. (more…)