My current exploration involves delving into the ideas of memory, history and personal mythology. I believe that gathering the stories from the past, knowing them, and sharing them is a means to healing learned dysfunctional patterns as well as embracing inherited strengths and gifts.
What does it mean to remember? Memory is the fabric of life experience. Our autobiographical memories are the stories that we tell ourselves about ourselves. Though life events may be experienced with others, memory is a solo journey, as it a reproduction of events filtered through personal perception and an interpretation of past experiences. Beyond nostalgia, memory holds an essence of our awareness of ourselves. It is a template for how we perceive relationships, and informs our interactions inside relationships.
Memory is an abstraction. It holds our entire history, but how much of that is our “real” story? And what stories do we tell ourselves about this story? Which stories do we own and which ones own us? And how do we break free of those that don’t serve our greatest good? And which ones are there for us to uncover/ recover/ discover for the healing our ancestors/ progeny/ selves?
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Monica J. Brown explores memory, history and personal mythology through visual art, sound, movement, writing and performance. Her visual art has been exhibited widely throughout Chicago, including the DuSable Museum, and the Museum of Science and Industry. She has also exhibited nationally and internationally including Juijiang University in China. She has created murals with Chicago’s Hubbard Street Mural Project, and Detroit’s Live6 Neighborhood Arts Project. She participated in performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; and presented a solo performance at Prop Theatre in Chicago and the Columbus Performing Arts Center in Ohio. Work in her Mythical Memory series is currently represented by Black Art in America. Monica is a Ucross fellow, and has attended residencies at Atlantic Center for the Arts, Ragdale, and Dorland Mountain Arts Colony, among others. She has received Individual Artist Program grants from Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, and Individual Artist Support grants from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. She is also a recipient of Columbia College’s Albert P. Weisman Award. She earned a BFA from Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles; and an MA from Columbia College Chicago.
© Monica J. Brown