To Archive The Shape Of Memory

Installation view of To Archive The Shape Of Memory

The work of Freda Guttman is above all known for the quality of its commitment. In the past she has looked as the tortuous course of the 20th century, while underscoring the degree to which the contingencies of history, place, gender, race and class impact on an individual life.

In To Archive the Shape of Memory, the artist pursues this research, juxtaposing memories of her Jewish childhood in Montreal with what could be remembered of the historical events that occurred in those years. In particular, she is interested in the growth of Fascism and the 20th century phenomenom of the enthrallment of masses of people by a dictator such as Hitler; how these two kinds of remembrances are mediated and (re)constructed by technologies of representation and the passage of time; how they cross paths and affect each other.

In this latest work, Guttman uses the art of anamorphosis, a Renaissance practice in the metaphysics of optics: the distortion of images in accordance with mathematical principles. These then can be magically restored to their right perspective within the infinite depth of a cylindrical mirror, or if the viewer positions her/himself at a fixed point of “truth”.


Mythic Dream States

A sculptural wall  and floor piece: aluminum light box (24”width x 78” height) of 5 vertical triangular anamorphic images, 2 aluminum hand-made wall ladders, side shutters with triangular viewing holes.


Every Epoch Dreams

A sculptural floor piece: base 48” diameter, 18” height: cylindrical mirror 13” diameter, 17” height; round Lamda print of an anamorphic image, laminated, placed flat on a turning mechanism that turns backward into time: in the centre is a cylindrical mirror. The image is magically restored to its true perspective within the infinite depth of the cylindrical mirror as the viewer positioned her/himself at a fixed point of truth for her/himself.


Installation Views