In The Stories Our Neurons Tell, artist Brooke Gassiot uses video, ready-made objects and sculpture to explore perception and memory as they relate to the idea of ‘who we are’. Gassiot’s installations reflect on the relationships between the body and the stimulus surrounding it. While a sensory experience may feel immediate, in reality there are nanoseconds that pass while information from the senses travels to, and is decoded by, the brain. The concept of ‘who we are’ is shaped by this soup of neurological hardware – neurons and their connections are the primary set of tools with which we perceive the world and these tools change, thriving and deteriorating as we grow and age.
Gassiot is continually intrigued by the idea that our physical bodies hold their own specific sensory memories. The constant interaction of our neural connections in relation to stimuli of the outside world affects personal, physiological self-perception and the broader perception of the “self” as it fits into the framework of the exterior world. In The Stories Our Neurons Tell each work encourages viewers to recall mind-body connections created by their own experiences.
Scar Party, opening night: May 18th, 2-6 pm: As part of this focus on how memories are held in the physical body, Gassiot invites visitors, from 2-6PM, to tell the story of their scars. The artist will make a drawing of the scar using various media such as vellum, felt, thread and ink. Each drawing will be added to a wall hanging installation to become part of a ‘Scar Party’.
Gassiot has noted that in her part-time profession as a massage therapist, people are often compelled to tell stories about their ailments and health histories. They seem to feel relieved when they relate their experiences of living in this human body to an understanding witness. By gathering scar stories from many participants and displaying them together, each personal scar becomes part of a greater congregation of ‘kindred healed wounds’.
Brooke Gassiot received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art from the University of Texas in 2006. During her time in university she studied in Italy on a full scholarship and created her first large-scale installation, funded by a UT fellowship. Her current work, a series of sculptural light boxes and room-sized installations incorporating sculpture and video, has been displayed at museums and galleries in Austin, Houston, Dallas and San Antonio.
This exhibition is a part of “Frame”, a day of special artist talks, performances, and receptions presented by East Austin Arts