BUNNY BURSON: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
Opening Reception Friday, May 11, 2012, from 5 to 9 pm
May 11 – June 30, 2012
Project Room: Danielle Spradley: Over Time
Media Room: Lisa K. Blatt: i am the enola gay
Recital with Clare Burson Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 3:30pm
Public Hours: Wednesday through Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Bruno David Gallery presents HIDDEN in Plain Sight by Bunny Burson, on view from May 11 to June 30, 2012. Comprised of installations, prints and drawings, Burson's exhibition draws inspiration from a collection of over 100 letters written by the artist’s grandparents to her mother between 1939-1941. Using prints, transfers, and overlays, Burson simultaneously grants and denies her viewers access to the content of the letters and their impact on the artist’s own personal journey.
Discovered by the artist in 2009, the letters were found where they had been ‘hidden in plain sight’ for over 50 years in the attic of her childhood home in Memphis, TN. They chronicle her grandparents’ desperate attempts to leave Germany and then Latvia after sending their children to the United States in 1938. More importantly, however, the letters reveal the intimate details of people she never knew - her grandparents and their relationship with her own mother as a young woman. The revelations contained within these letters helped fill the void of an unknown family history that had haunted the artist for years. Burson’s experience of processing these revelations culminates in this exhibition, and the visual narrative she constructs evokes the physical hand of both her grandparents and herself as their stories eventually merge into one.
As much as this exhibit stems from Burson’s own inward personal journey, the artist’s work looks outward. It challenges us to take our own journeys and to ask: Who am I? Where do I come from? What makes me who I am? HIDDEN in Plain Sight is a call to share our stories, to develop an understanding of each other and ourselves.
For Burson, the push to ask these questions came from her daughter, Clare Burson. A singer and songwriter, her latest album, Silver and Ash (Rounder Records), is a concept album that imagines her maternal grandmother’s life in Germany, from her birth in 1919 to her escape in 1938. These songs also explore her personal struggles with rupture, silence, guilt, empathy and continuity. On Saturday, May 12, 2012 at 3:30PM, Clare Burson will give a recital at the gallery.
In the Project Room, the gallery presents a series of new drawings, titled Over Time, by Danielle Spradley. Danielle Spradley's work centers on the immense amount of change over time in the relationship between society and the environment. By painting images of the homeless woven into piles of trash and juxtaposing the trash accumulated in the city with Native American mythological characters, Spradley elevates these remnants of modern society. Her images combine highly detailed relief printing and painting, emphasizing every object's importance. Influenced by living in the Midwest, Spradley pulls motifs from Native American folklore and symbolism, most notably the white buffalo. Spradley uses this buffalo, which embodies the strength of women and the hope for humanity in future generations, to speak to loss in today's society on a number of levels.
In the Media Room, the gallery presents a video work titled “i am the enola gay” by Lisa K. Blatt. On August 6th, 1945,
Col. Paul Tibbets, Jr. flew the Enola Gay, the American B-29 bomber, off the runway to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, ending the second World War. While this marked victory for the Allies, the atomic bombs devastated Japan, the five-year death total as a result is thought to exceed 200,000 people in Hiroshima alone. Initially, it seems that Lisa K. Blatt’s video could be any plane on any runway. It is the video’s title and location that load “i am the enola gay” with its significance. On the same runway from which the Enola Gay took off nearly seventy years ago, Blatt recreates this journey in this video, presenting the viewer with the takeoff from the actual runway, including stopping at the bomb loading site.3721 WASHINGTON BOULEVARD
SAINT LOUIS MO 63108