By Lindsey Davis
Boston, MA – Ruth Segaloff’s newest work comprises “Lest We Forget,” an exhibition at Galatea Fine Art on Harrison Avenue in Boston on view until the end of March. A collection of collaged conceptual pieces, the show is represented by 16 works that were mostly created especially for this exhibit and nine of which were made within the last year.
“My works are intended to evoke memories, beliefs and actions,” Segaloff said. “Sometimes I actually want to provoke the observer into a greater self examination that requires a response, or at the very least, begins the conversation.”
The exhibit is titled “Lest We Forget,” after one of Segaloff’s earlier pieces of the same name, that’s currently on view as part of the “Pursuing Justice Through Art” exhibition at the Whistler House Museum of Art in Lowell through April 20. The artwork has a worn white baby shoe at the center that’s featured to memorialize the thousands of worn baby shoes on exhibit at memorials dedicated to preserving the memory of those affected by unjust tragedy.
The phrase “Lest We Forget” is typically associated for the Holocaust, but Segaloff said it has a broader meaning for her: “George Santayana said it best: ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ This reflects my personal beliefs, professional experiences and a strong religious tradition of social justice.”
In this way Segaloff’s works function as conceptual memorials, symbols and remembrances of society’s lowest points, but combining those with additional articles as a way of drawing comparisons between objects and time.
“For the most part, they represent a greater complexity and depth of feelings in my work,” Segaloff said of her current Galatea exhibition, “Often I don’t know ahead of time where I’m headed. I feel like a secretary taking dictation and I don’t know until the end what the work is really about.”
“Among my new pieces, “Through a Glass Darkly” best illustrates this,” she continued. “Through a Glass Darkly: The Power of Self Delusion,” features a bunny within the inner compartment of a safe that’s kept in a jewelry showcase atop an old wooden desk. On top of it all sits a very old camera, and the wings of the open jewelry panels hold purple flower petals and old gold rings on one side and tassels on the other, representing how different the outside of something can be from the inside.
“The title seemed to come out of no where,” Segaloff said, “If we view “the other” through a dark glass, we can’t see them clearly. Similarly, when we look at ourselves in a darkened mirror, our true selves are obscured and denial is possible. Thus, subtitle of this piece, “The Power of Self Delusion.” The subtitle could describe any number of situations where each side only sees its own projections. An example might be the Holocaust deniers,” or one closer to home, the Democrats and Republicans.”
(“Ruth Segaloff: Lest We Forget” continues through March 31 at Galatea Fine Arts, 460B Harrison Avenue, #B-6, Boston; gallery hours are Wednesday through Friday from noon-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon-5 p.m. For more information call (617) 542-1500.)