Proto Gallery

Beautiful Liars

Episode 29  : Today I talk with Molly Merson about the Beautiful Liars exhibition that she curated at the Proto Gallery in New Jersey.

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Imagination, n. A warehouse of facts, with poet and liar in joint ownership. Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary


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Memory is a battleground between imagination and facts. As historians of our own lives we appear inattentive and can barely distinguish between things that actually took place and those we’d like to believe were happening. And what about our memory of the events that we have not witnessed or lived through? Beautiful Liars delegates the job of recollecting the historical and mythological past to the artists: six women who, to paraphrase Robert Hughes, make us remember things they have not seen. The artworks in the exhibition employ a wide range of artistic forms and mediums to engage the viewer in their imaginary narratives. The stories told by the artists may not be entirely truthful, but they have a more important claim – the psychological and emotional veracity, the kind of truth that goes beyond the mere accuracy of facts, names and numbers.

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All images used with permission