Disappearing Ink by John Salvest (installation detail)
April 5-June 28, 2014 901.678.2224
Opening Reception: Friday, April 4, 5-7:30
Gallery talks: Saturday, April 5, 11:30 AM and Thursday, April 10, 11:30 AM
Newspapers decreasingly slap driveways across America and provide rattling accompaniment
to the morning coffee. Refrigerator magnets and scrapbooks less frequently hold news
snippets of a child's scholarly or athletic accomplishments, wedding announcements
or pertinent cartoons.
At a different scale, historians for centuries have accessed archives of physical
newspapers or more recently microfilm of newspapers to study social life in its daily
immediacy and candor. Today, digital news articles are archived on line, but the full
page contextual mix of local, national, social, cultural reportage, editorial commentary,
letters and ads that offer vivid snapshots of moments in time do not survive. Furthermore,
while we classify newspapers as "ephemera," mutating technologies make digital information
even more fugitive.
Disappearing Ink is a look at newspapers and other printed matter as documents of personal and collective
memories and history. University and community members were invited to lend clippings
to the exhibition, be photographed with the objects and to relate their significance
in an audio recording. The digital photographs and audios are presented online, taking
advantage of new media's unique capabilities for broad dissemination. The exhibition,
curated by John Salvest, presents the items as museum artifacts, framed or in cases
with appropriate labels.
Salvest also created an installation piece for Disappearing Ink. Exhibited throughout
the United States and in Europe, John Salvest's art is based on his collections of
things most people toss out without a thought: coffee filters, chalk nubs, cigarette
butts, matches, chewed gum, old business cards, fingernail clippings and the daily
newspaper. His inventory includes 20 years or approximately 7000 consecutive issues
of The Jonesboro Sun. His installation for Disappearing Ink is a giant flock of startled birds rising, turning and filling the top 40,000 cubic
feet of AMUM's main gallery. Each of the 1400 birds is a front page from the most
recent four years of the Sun.
AMUM is free and open to the public: 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Saturday. Closed
between exhibitions and University holidays.
This project is made possible by the UM Student Activity Fee Fund.
Does the apparent triumph of electronic over print media mean that the daily newspaper
will soon no longer exist as a physical object? The Art Museum of the University of
Memphis requests your participation in an exhibition addressing the changing face
of print media and its effect on contemporary culture. Do you have a treasured newspaper
clipping, perhaps the obituary of a loved one, or the news coverage of a significant
event or individual accomplishment, or just a story that mattered enough for you to
take the time to save it? The museum is seeking any form of personally meaningful
artifact from any time period involving the traditional printed newspaper. Clippings,
pages, complete newspapers, and vehicles for the display or preservation of such ephemera
(scrapbooks, bulletin boards, even refrigerator doors) are welcomed. The museum requests
that each participant also provide a written statement explaining the personal significance
of his or her contribution. The collected artifacts will be curated and arranged by
artist John Salvest in the museum's galleries with the assistance of the museum staff.
An on-line archive of submissions will also be created. Submitted materials will be
carefully cataloged and returned to the lender after the conclusion of the exhibition.
Calendar for Disappearing Ink:
November 22, 2013-March 14, 2014: Collection of news artifacts with statements
April 4, 2014: Opening reception for Disappearing Ink, 5-7:30 PM, Art Museum
April 5 – June 28, 2014: Disappearing Ink exhibition open to the public
July 14 – September 13: Lenders pick up objects
Bring your news artifact / clipping and statement to AMUM
Complete official AMUM loan documents
Take photo with news artifact (optional)
Record statement about why it is important to you (optional)
Your object / news artifact will be returned to you after the close of the exhibition.
- Glossary of Grunts o For a while, I pretended to be a secretary for my dad's farm
with my mom. I cut this out to hang on the cork board above my desk. It hung there
long after I gave up the "job." Eventually I took it down and saved it because it's
still hilarious to me. I love Zits, it's my favorite in the Sunday comics.
- "With their horns aglow..." o This was from a Christmas parade that we did my junior
year. Mom saved it because I was friends with the guys in the picture. I saved it
because I wanted to remember how much I hated parades. - Westside pep band o The guy
in the middle, playing the drums, was my first boyfriend. We had already broken up
by the time it was taken, but my mom insisted that I would want it someday. I guess
she convinced me, because here it is.
- Butch Blevins obituary o Butch Blevins was the father of a fellow bandmate. He was
very active in helping the band get ready for competitions, throw fundraisers, and
was our biggest fan. He passed away in a motorcycle accident the summer before my
junior year. We were all heartbroken and attended the visitation together. Butch's
family made the entire band honorary pall-bearers.
As long as I can remember, I have loved horses. I had collections of horse figurines,
took horseback riding lessons, and cherished everything in the name of horses. My
parents knew this and would cut out clippings of horse related stories for me that
I saved in my scrapbook. These collections were a substitute for having my own horse
until I had to move from California to Arkansas. I was so adamant about not moving
to Arkansas (at the age of 12) that I told my dad I would not move to Arkansas unless
he bought me a horse. As crazy as that sounds, we moved to Arkansas in the summer
of 1995 and by December of 1995 I had my horse, Stillion. Now Stillion is 20 and I