Opening Friday! Skye Parrott: FIRST LOVE, LAST RITES
Capricious Space is pleased to announce First Love, Last Rites, an exhibition of new photography by artist Skye Parrott. Opening November 19th, works are on view through January 15th, 2011. A reception will take place on Friday, November 19th from 7 – 9pm.
Having grown up with a photographer mother, Parrott’s life had been thoroughly documented until her adolescence, and then again by herself starting at seventeen. But the turbulent period in between was a void in terms of visual record. Following the demise of two key relationships, one with her first love, a boy named Alex, and then of their mutual relationship with drugs, they both went off to rehab and soon after she began taking photographs. From that brief era, she was left only with some vivid memories of particular moments. First Love, Last Rites turns around about a year and a half of her life, beginning when she was fifteen. For this work Parrott asked friend (and sometimes collaborator) Valentine Fillol-Cordier to play her, and with her old clothes and the other people who figured into these memories, she set out to recreate her recollections from these previously undocumented years.
Central to this body of work is Parrott’s interest in the subjectivity of memory. “People choose a few things to remember and those memories become representative of entire relationships or events. In doing this work, I was keenly aware that what I remembered might not be ‘real.’ Curious to explore what had actually happened, after making the photographs I interviewed Alex to find out what he remembered. There was a lot of overlap, but there were huge discrepancies too. There were incidents I thought of as key but that he had forgotten entirely but remembered when I mentioned them and vice versa. And there were places where our stories just completely diverged. I think it points to the way that memories form us, and as we form, we reshape them to fit.” This is sometimes reflected in the exhibition: a detail that she mentions in her text is intentionally different in the corresponding photograph. A scene that takes place at night is shot during the day, or a gesture is reconfigured. In this way, Parrott explores the notion that memory, and even experience, is not “true.” Rather it is something in between truth and fantasy because it goes through the filter of who we are.
In a booklet accompanying the exhibition, we are given a glimpse of the physical records that do exist from this time in Parrott’s life. Along with images from the show, she presents personal artifacts including letters, photographs, and items found inside old pockets, a personal text, and the transcript of an interview with Alex.
Skye Parrott began her career in Paris, where she worked as a freelance photo assistant, managing editor at Self Service, and studio manager to Nan Goldin before starting on her own as a photographer in 2004. In addition to working commercially, she has exhibited her personal work widely, and has recently branched out into photographic curating. In 2008 she co-founded Dossier, a biannual arts and fashion journal and Dossierjournal.com, a cultural website. She currently lives in Brooklyn and works between New York and Paris.