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EVERYTHING SHOULD BE UNDER THE SUN

On "Fairytales Interrupted" Exhibition

Place: The Gallery at the Marmara Manhattan
Date: March 1 - April 22, 2001


Julie Mardin examines our violent society through its violent toys. She uses bright colors and bold graphics to reflect on the influence of advertising and the media, and searches for our spirit in the growing clutter of technology, information, problems and possibilities.

Disturbed by such recent statistics as: 1 out 5 high school students comes to school armed with a gun, knife or club, she works to illuminate questions of gender, heredity and the environment through the use of naive symbolism and romantic yet ironic imagery.

The work is accompanied by a suite of techno and ambient compositions by Joe Mardin, a composer and producer who has worked with artists ranging from Jewel to Aretha Franklin, and who says of the photocollagist's vision, "it keeps idealism alive, reminds us of the possibility to rise above 'human nature.'"

Ms. Mardin has been exhibiting since 1996 in various museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad.  Her 'analog' technique involves arranging cut-up versions of her photographs, re-photographing, and often layering with yet another image in the printing process.  She has moved on to explore the digital tools available to achieve similar effects. 'Once upon a time there was a land filled with toys, calling us to play...'


Julie MARDIN:
Artist's Statement

The process of play is synonomous with the process of creativity. Even as adults, this is our natural state.  It provides a similar function to dreaming, allowing oneís mind to make connections that perhaps are not evident in our linguistic, linear and logical mode.

My interest in childhood imagery stems from a desire to recapture this innocence as well as to retrace some of the roots of the violence and confusion of our adult world.  It is said that the best way to study a society is through its toys, and childrenís store shelves are stocked with all the latest in military weapons and hardware, and starkly divided along gender lines.  While I am trying to deconstruct these objects and see them as the unfortunate influences that in many cases they are, I am also drawn to them as powerful symbols that in turn I can use in my own process of ìfiguring out.î

We are reflections of the society in which we live, but we are also shapers of it.  One can say it is human nature to be attracted to violence, yet it is also human nature to love, respect and work with each other.  Of course we are drawn to the idea of force, especially when we are feeling powerless, and even more so when it is repeatedly packaged with such bright colors and sexy, youthful imagery, and so removed from the reality of what it actually represents.  The dayís horrifying events are reported to you on the news with a smile, or soldiers are printed fancifully on a little boyís pajamas, or camouflage is turned into the latest fashion statement.  We can still try to be aware of the water in which we swim.

FAIRYTALES INTERRUPTED is about the sudden intrusion of reality into our fantasy, the glimpse of darkness, of our lost identity, our search for self, and the construction of masks or personas behind which we hide which stifle while they protect us.  It is about the speed with which children are growing up today, and in a sense it is the adultsí fairytale, our continuing illusions about the world of childhood itself, that it continues to be a land of safety and nurturing, that it is exploring.


Joe MARDIN: Artist's Statement

It is my hope that my music in this exhibition will support, enhance and if possible, further illuminate the themes and idealism embodied in Julie Mardin's work.

Once Julie and Zishan Ugurlu determined the exhibition should employ a 'multimedia' approach, Julie decided the music should be Techno. I gravitated toward that style's Drum 'n' Bass genre. She also suggested supplementing 'the beats' with mysterious lullabies, baby sounds, children reciting texts, children laughing, etc. Her desires and the themes of her work both dictatedthe parameters and gave me a very liberating musical/sonic palette from which to explore the joyful and dark sides of childhood innocence.

How technology and child targeted marketing perpetuate the loss of this innocence, how one might come to feel alien in the very skin one inhabits and how this can lead to collective self-destructive acts as a society is central to Julie's work. She strives to remind us adults that recapturing part of our childlike innocence is of great importance to our collective imagination and positive evolution.

The aesthetically pleasing aspect of Julie's work serves to disguise darker themes. At various times, I have attempted to parallel this dichotomy in the music.

Funnily or appropriately enough, the 'musical instruments' used to create this music consist of a small arsenal of technology centering around a Macintosh computer with various pieces of digital audio and MIDI software, a MIDI keyboard (played like a conventional piano), effects processors, samplers, synthesizers, drum machines and the occasional appearance of the human voice. I tried to approach the music with the childlike spirit central to Julie's work.

An interview with Julie MARDIN
A Profile About Julie MARDIN

E-mail: juliemardin@hotmail.com

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@The Light Millennium magazine was created and designed
by Bircan ÜNVER. 6th issue. Summer 2001, New York.
URL: http://www.lightmillennium.org