Paul Mumbles Advice, mixed media, 2014


Glitches from the memory bank – New Work by Scott Scarboro

Review by Kaylyn Taylor

Entire contents copyright © 2014 by Kaylyn Taylor. All rights reserved.

Scott Scarboro’s Glitches from the memory bank has been on display in The Green Building Gallery since May 31 and has been extended through August 22. The impetus behind this exhibit was the re-discovery of the artist’s toy chest.  Fragments of childhood objects perhaps created in him reverberations of memories that encompassed all of his senses, resulting in a multi faceted art exhibit with mediums ranging from 2-D and 3-D to kinetic and video art.

The toy box in question is placed almost squarely in the center of the gallery’s floor space, with the assorted offerings grouped along the walls. There is still childhood debris in the box; army men, toy cars, colorful game pieces, plastic animals, etc.: fodder for memory jarring. The shapes these memories take are carefully pieced together.

In one grouping, dismembered dolls are reassembled with their parts encased in hand-constructed, coffin-like wooden boxes. There is a quality of compartmentalization to them, but it is not tragic: it is more systematic. In another grouping, freestanding sculptures created from “The Visible Man/ Woman/ Horse” model kits have been filled with assorted small toys and parts of toys that have been suspended in resin. The sculptures also have lights embedded, harkening the electronic aspect of the videos. There are assemblages of toys that roll along the floor, steered by remote control. There are a couple of larger pieces that are also assemblages: one incorporates a Ken doll, which appears to be in utero, while the other blends the easily recognizable KISS head with the oddly appropriate mini-television. Again, the bonus of sound and light are included in these.


Show Time Clocks, mixed media, 2014

There is also a poignant grouping of clocks. These are comparatively simple in composition. A single printed television image, such as “The Fonz”, Wonder Woman, or The Waltons, has been applied to a board then thickly coated with polyurethane. Neon orange colored clock hands tell the time. Initially, this grouping looks to be composed of clever, kitschy art pieces that appeal on a superficial level. However, phrases such as “I remember…” and “Oh I used to watch…” are underlined by the hands of time, and the simple images then represent time passing and pose questions about continuity.

There are two separate groupings of stitched collages. These could harken to the icons of Scarboro’s childhood: Farrah, C-3PO, R2D2, Gene Simmons, Batman and the Three Speed Schwinn Banana Seat Bike. Each collage is assembled from a vintage poster and embellished with additional images that give the once pop culture icon a weightier significance. For example, the angel wings added to C3PO and the halo added to R2D2 call to mind Jungian archetypes.

When exploring memory and childhood, it is easy to become nostalgic and melancholy, yet these pieces avoid that. There is an excitement and energy here that recalls the vibrant nature of youth. There is, in this creative process, the same energy of possibility. It is achieved, in part, by the vivid colors found in all the pieces ~ colors from childhood that have not faded. The easily recognizable iconography is not memorialized, but rather utilized in a new, fun and unexpected manner. The comprehensive approach of using various media also energizes the subject.

The video glitches that were to play on the groupings of small screens, as well as the glitched home movie that was on a large screen were not turned on. There was no master switch evident, nor was there a person available to offer assistance. The exhibit is strong independent of these elements, but is incomplete. The kinetic, visual and auditory dimensions would, I imagine, serve to overwhelm the space and create distractions from the other pieces. Perhaps this is how memory feels.


The Woman, mixed media, 2014


Glitches from the memory bank – New Work by Scott Scarboro

Gallery hours: Mon-Thurs 9am-5pm, Fri 9am-9pm, Sat 4pm-9pm

The Green Building Gallery
732 East Market Street
Louisville, KY 40202
502) 561-1162