I was excited when the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) announced Israeli artist Nir Evron’s exhibition, Projected Claims, at VCUarts’ Depot Gallery, and, even more excited when I learned he would teach a seminar. I was intrigued by many aspects of Evron’s work: the reclaiming of history and poetic imagery, reviewing the Holy Land as pictured by its colonizers, and re-visiting Israeli memory through spatial architecture. Evron’s class and presence on campus would present the possibility of seeing the world through more than just a computer screen; they would help answer the question, how are artists dealing with contemporary subjects in other corners of the world?

Of course, I signed up for his class. The seminar investigated important questions. How is history being archived? How does the artist relate to the archival process? I had been thinking about similar questions myself: how are our personal memories, already intertwined with collective and civic memory, being formed and developed in this internet age? Inspired by the seminar, I developed a project about my own personal archive of memories and its relationship to the photographs, films, documents, letters, and other historical materials related to the military dictatorship in my home country of Brazil.

Art is political. One can pretend to not make a statement, but a non-statement is still a statement! There is no way, in this time of fierce globalization, to avoid a dialogue about the challenges of the world. It is impossible to be blind and insensitive now that all archives are opened. I am very glad that the ICA is building bridges for international dialogues. I am thankful that they introduced me to Nir Evron, and I am excited for other artists to visit in the future. Ah, how great it will be to exchange global views and different perspectives. One’s view should no longer come from one perspective, but from many, and we must appreciate this “circularity-view”!

— Eva Rocha (MFA 2016)

Eva Rocha is a multimedia artist from Brazil. She is currently a graduate student in the Master of Fine Arts program at Virginia Commonwealth University with a focus in Kinetic Imaging. Her current work brings together elements of performance, sculpture, set design, and video installation as a commentary on human objectification and the dehumanization of the artist.

Image: Nir Evron, In Virgin Land (still), 2006. Digital video, stereo sound. Running time 12 min. Courtesy of the artist and Chelouche Gallery, Tel Aviv