Light Work and Community Darkrooms are pleased to present Marna Bell’s Imperfect Memories.
With Imperfect Memories Marna Bell returns to some of the familiar themes of her Hudson Past/Perfect series. “In both projects,” Bell explains, “my subjects are put into a motion blur, not only to allude to the passage of time, but more so, to the fading of memories. In addition, the motion gives the work a more painterly effect; the slow shutter speed creates a haunting quality.”
While the windows of the train create the parameters in the Hudson series, in Imperfect Memories, the camera is set up before a flickering screen. In both cases, the camera captures pieces of information sometimes unseen by the human eye. Like memory, these photographs document feelings more than actual events. The figures are familiar and foreboding — even nightmarish.
These images represent narratives that are both true and half true; some dimly recalled and some totally forgotten. Bell writes, “My work reminds us that memories morph and change over time and that we are limited in how much of the past we can retain, retrieve or understand.”
Marna Bell received her BFA degree from Pratt Institute in New York City and an MFA from Syracuse University in painting. In 2012, her photographs from the Hudson series were featured in Syracuse University’s Stone Canoe publication and an accompanying exhibition at XL Gallery. In February 2011, Bell exhibited her Hudson Past/Perfect series at Light Work/Community Darkrooms in Syracuse, NY. She also participated in an exhibition of self-published photo-based printed matter at the SPE Northeast conference in November 2011. Her book Hudson Past/Perfect now appears in the artist book section of the Howard Greenberg Gallery in New York City. Four images from this book were exhibited in the 63rd Exhibition of Central New York Artists at the Munson Williams Proctor Museum in Utica, NY in March of 2013. She is a 2008 NYFA Mark Program alumni. Her work was selected for The Object and Beyond, the 2008 Everson Museum Biennial. Solo exhibitions include Clarion State College in Pennsylvania and the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse, NY. In 1971, she received a New York State Council of the Arts Grant, and in 2012 she received a Ruth and Harold Chenven Foundation Award.