Memory of a Space: Immersive Exhibition

Memory of a Space


Exhibition Statement and Video

Photography by Jessie Chaney
Exhibition Curated and Designed by Chris Davies
Presented by Fabrik Projects, Los Angeles

Jessie Chaney’s ongoing series Memory of a Space brings into focus numerous forlorn and overlooked sites the artist has encountered in her travels. These abandoned spaces are remnants of progress and change, empty buildings which provide evidence of previous inhabitants. Whether changes of fortune or the construction of new nearby highway leaves such places cut off and ultimately deserted, they still hold many telltale pointers to the lives and loves that once filled them.

Chaney finds beauty within the ruins and detritus that society leaves behind. Rather than mourn what has been lost, she celebrates the little details that provide glimpses into the past. This immersive installation both houses and echoes her artworks. Glimpses of other artworks appear as one navigates the space, and scrims provide veiled views though grimy windows, like those the artist encounters when peering into long-overlooked rooms. While Chaney’s photographs are essentially devoid of people, they still evoke an aura of humanity. The images tell stories through what has been left behind, fallen into ruin and often subsequently unofficially re-adorned with contemporary imagery. If her imagery conveys an air of nostalgia, it is not intended to be facile. Memory of a Space draws attention to the rapid changes in modern life, while celebrating small mementos of civilization.

Chaney began this body of work in earnest before the term ‘COVID-19’ was coined. Since then, as the global pandemic has continued, the series has assumed an additional gravitas, not influenced by prevailing political views or conspiracy theories. Focusing on the impact of societal change, Chaney’s abandoned spaces now might be seen as possible safe havens for the future.

Photos from the Exhibition