With improvisational dancers and a crowd of about 30 people, the York Square Cinema hosted a reception on Sunday for a new exhibit in its gallery.
“The Three States of Memory,” which is composed of the work of three recent graduates of the Art Institute of Boston, deals most closely with the changes that memory undergoes over time.
The exhibit features the works of Suhail Jhangiani, 28, Chris Oricchio, 22, and Raul Rodriguez Allen, 23. The exhibit arose from all of the artists’ common interests in the concept of memory.
“We were all working on the same thing and we thought that we could do something together,” Allen said. “We all had very different approaches to the idea of memory, giving rise to ‘Three States of Memory.'”
Each artist’s work constitutes a different state of memory. The first state, “Perception,” is Jhangiani’s focus. His paintings, which include such works as “Working Late” and “Morning Rush,” are meant to reflect the fleeting and momentary nature of trying to absorb scenes viewed only briefly.
“I paint the images that we miss when we’re too busy to notice things,” said Jhangiani. “I try to figure out why these images are burned in our minds by painting them.”
Allen’s art centers on “Formation.” His works, which he said are an attempt to make use of all the media he can, examine the manner in which memory changes in the mind.
“My work is an exploration of mediums and myself,” Allen said. “It’s all about the process of rediscovering things that we think are one way but can really be told different ways.”
The third and final state, “Creation,” is Oricchio’s domain. Through mostly sculpture and interpretive drawings, Oricchio has attempted to discover what a memory looks like if it is extracted from the mind at the instant when it is recollected.
“Memory is malleable,” he said. “Images exist in a perfect state at one point, but then later images change it. My work attempts to take a memory and crystallize it at one time.”
The exhibit also featured a performance by the New Haven-based Kathryn Kollar Dance Company. For the performance, four members of the group performed an improvisational dance intended to relate to the exhibit and its themes.
“We often perform with visual artists,” Kollar said. “We really enjoy it; it’s a forte of ours.”
The exhibit, which will run through October, came to the York Square Cinema gallery after a meeting between guest curator Jhiangiani and gallery director Johnes Ruta. The gallery showcased the work of Ebenezer Sundersingh in March, and Sundersingh subsequently introduced Jhiangiani and Ruta.
“I met [Jhiangiani] and I was very interested in his work,” Ruta said. “I developed a plan with him, he introduced me to the other artists and then we arranged the show.”
The gallery, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year, shows new exhibits every five weeks, and Ruta said he tries to bring in new and exciting artists, especially from abroad.
“Whenever I can find foreign artists, I bring them,” Ruta said. “I travel when I can to meet artists abroad; it’s a constantly expanding network.”