The Memory Palace
Frenchtown at 150ish
A Memory Palace is an ancient Greco-Roman method of memory enhancement employing the details of one’s habitual environment to quickly and efficiently recall information. The most common type of memory palace involves making a journey through a familiar building or town.
ArtYard is pleased to present The Memory Palace: Frenchtown at 150ish, a meditation on collective memory, excavation, and place featuring a dreamlike scale model of Frenchtown inscribed with accompanying poems by Skye Van Saun.
Architect and artist Ulla Warchol constructed the bridge and buildings in collaboration with artist Elsa Mora, who designed the structures and painted the intricate tableaux of architectural detail interwoven with local arcana and gathered memories. Flashlights are available so visitors can search for Skye Van Saun’s poems illuminating the inner lives of every building lining Frenchtown’s Bridge and Race Streets.
Unearthed, a publically sourced library of found objects collected by the local community and excavated in, near or around the Delaware River. This repository was aggregated during an open call for objects as well as during several ArtYard organized mudlarking expeditions. Drawing from the London tradition of scavenging in the River Thames, community members combed the banks of the Delaware and surrounding islands in search of artifacts displaced by the current.
This exhibition also includes a collection of portraits of Frenchtown Fixtures by artist Joe Ciardiello.
Throughout the duration of the exhibition, local families are encouraged to bring framed portraits of their ancestors and sit with them in ArtYard’s Photomat. The resulting images will join an ongoing installation of photographs of intergenerational families from Frenchtown.
At the opening, a chocolate egg-filled piñata celebrated ArtYard’s planned 16,000 square foot new theater and gallery complex. Construction of this project will start soon and will last for a few years.