MAIN SPACE EXHIBITION
JANUARY 12 – FEBRUARY 3, 1996
RECEPTION: FRIDAY, JANUARY 12, 1996 AT 8 PM
ARTIST TALK: SATURDAY, JANUARY 20, 1996 AT 2 PM
LOCATION – STRIDE GALLERY
722, 11 AVE S.W, CALGARY, ALBERTA
Kroeger’s exhibition FAMILY STORIES supports large photographs of the artist’ parents with childhood drawings, maps, copies of passports, letters, telegrams and other texts. Collectively the documents offer the viewer glimpses into the Kroeger family and their experiences of the Russian Revolution, Second World War and emigration to Canada.
This work was completed with assistance form the Banff Centre Photography Program and the Barbara Spohr Award. This exhibition is made possible through a grant from the Canada Council Exhibition Assistance Program.
ERNIE KROEGER is an interdisciplinary artist utilizing photography and writing. His work employs a conversational narrative model to explore the relationship between present and past; between place and travel. His artwork has been exhibited across Canada and in Europe, and is included in collections such as the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, Ottawa, and Museo Nazionale della Montagna, Turin, Italy.
The exhibition FAMILY STORIES by Banff artist Ernie Kroeger included photographs and photocopy/collage works combined with collected narrative elements. This exhibition continued his long standing investigation of identity. The work in this exhibition detailed his search for identity through scrutiny of lineage, heritage, and personal history. In it, he explored the identity of self in terms of genealogy, culture, and the development of a personal narrative related to the passage of time. Kroeger incorporated his mother and father’s parent’s complete collection of birth and death certificates, immigration records, marriage licenses, and an assortment of other pertinent documents that establish a statistical record of his family history. By combining these documents with his own large collection of family snapshots, journals, diaries and oral histories, Kroeger presented an interpretation of his own history. These components were juxtaposed alongside his own large high-resolution and meticulously printed photographs of his parents and himself and the various sites germane to his family history in Canada and the Ukraine. The highly technical quality of his own photographs combined with the material fragility of old documents enhanced the sense of fragmentation from the past. Kroeger also made oversized interpretive tags that translated the text from most of the historical documents.
Through this investigation of personal history, past and present, Kroeger opened a dialogue relating to the interpretation of how time functions. Although the works were installed in the chronological order of history, his collages do not function simply as a chronological record of time past. Kroeger’s introduction of his own current photographs were evocative of the slippery dilemma of memory operating in the present. Kroeger accepted this dilemma by presenting the collage/photographs as a series of fragments, which move back and forth between present and past, and between different voices. The result of these many voices at play is a compression of time operating in a non-linear chronicle. The collages were meant to be seen as chapters of an incomplete book; an incomplete story. Disparate elements were placed together to form a personal version of a family history. There was a suggestion of a whole story that has not yet been told in its entirety.