Confabulation / Shanghai Dragon

Toni Hafkenscheid, Louise Noguchi


In Confabulation, Toni Hafkenscheid fabricates a suite of fantasized childhood memories to replace his less than idyllic real life recollections. The artist is engaged with the way that family snapshots function as a repository for memory and how a viewer might reconstruct the past by looking at his work. Hafkenscheid photographs perfect moments, mostly of people basking in wondrous scenery while enjoying their vacations. The knowledge that these memories do not belong to the photographer creates an intense sense of melancholic longing. Confabulation poses the question: “If photography is a surrogate for memory, can you falsify memory by creating fake family snapshots?”

In Shanghai Dragon, Louise Noguchi uses elements of photography and installation to explore “heroic” landscapes found within Hollywood action films – the places where heroes dwell and seek inspiration. Her work relates to cinematic spaces that seem uncannily familiar, because they already exist within our collective memory of popular culture. One source of inspiration has been western cowboy films, which often use the unusual land formations that occur within places such as Arizona for film sets. These otherworldly spaces are addressed in Noguchi’s recent work, which incorporates references from classic cult movies such as Enter the Dragon, Star Wars and The Lady From Shanghai.