B. 1981, Stockholm, Sweden.
The works of Timothy Crisp resemble delayed postcards. Memories of abandoned and forgotten places, that suddenly emerge, many years after they were forgotten. It is a remembrance that has nothing to do with Paul Ricoeur’s joyful “small miracle of recognition”. Rather it is a memory haunting us. The landscape depicted is loaded with guilt.
Timothy Crisp’s inventory of repressed memories takes place in the margins of late modernity, in a place robbed of its assets and deprived of its future.
A black river runs through the deserted landscape but the ground appear lifeless. What is left are the rejected remains of a society; burned out cars, drilling rigs, rodent skulls, left behind communication equipment … The settlements, tents, shacks, cabins and domes all appear to be temporary, as if they were placed there randomly in haste. The living are uncannily absent; man is nothing but a memory.
The technique developed by the artist can be described as an archaeological uncovering of images that appear when layers of paint are being erased from plates of glass.
Timothy Crisp turns the gallery space into a memorial site, anchoring the past in the present and the present in the past. But what has happened is never revealed. Since there is only a
carefully documented scene, but no witnesses and no written messages to decipher, the viewer herself must continue the act of recalling.