Looking & Learning Time
Whitfield Lovell, Whispers from the Walls, 1999, installation view. Photos by Steve Dennie. Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery, New York.
Time is how we measure our lives.
It provides a framework for our experiences.
Time can remember and time can erase, but
we determine what memories survive and
how they are represented. As individuals and
communities, we produce and store our histories. We record time in diaries, photographs,
and stories passed from one generation to
the next. Time lives on through collective
and individual accounts. The passage of time
is inevitable, but individuals choose what
survives through histories and memories.
Art can help us to process, interpret, and
document the passage of time. Some artists
seek to reinterpret past events and make
them accessible to those who were not there
to experience them. By creating visual repre-
sentations of histories, artists can transcend
linear time and allow us to understand the
past in the context of the present. Artists
sometimes tell stories that relate to their
personal lives. These stories may be based
on their own experiences, on the lives of
people who are important to them, or on
events from their time.