Skip to Content

If Memory Serves: Photography, Recollections and Vision | Honoring Aline Smithson

Dec 16, 2023 – Feb 24, 2024

Works from Fugue State by Aline Smithson. Instillation photo by Adam Kolkin.


Aurora Wilder Collective (Jennifer Pritchard in collaboration with Patrick Corrigan and DALL-E), Elizabeth Bailey, Dena Elisabeth Eber, Sarah Hadley, Diane Hemingway, Rohina Hoffman, Susan Lapides, Annette LeMay Burke, Annie Omens, Lori Ordover, Safi Alia Shabaik, Aline Smithson, Rosalie Rosenthal

Click on artist name for more details!


Rotem Rozental, Ph.D


Brand Library and Art Center, 1601 W Mountain St, Glendale, CA 91201

Join us for these FREE public programs:

Walkthroughs with curator Dr. Rotem Rozental:
January 19th, 11am.
January 25th, 6pm. Held as part of ARTful Conversations, to be followed by a poetry workshop.

February 23rd, 11am

Family workshop:
February 3rd, 11:30-12:30pm, in conjunction with Music Animated. Instructor: Ford Lowcock. Recommended ages: 5-8.

Artist panel:
February 10, 2pm: join a conversation with Aline Smithson, Lori Ordover, and Jennifer Pritchard, moderated by Dr. Rotem Rozental.


Our hard drives may fail. Our phones might break. We may forget an image that was once cemented in our minds. Our relationships with images and devices that hold our memories define how we understand our position in the world. If Memory Serves emerges from the moments those devices fail us, our recollections betray us and our pictures refuse to bring back the people they once captured. This exhibition emerges from the intersection of our haunting pasts, possible futures, and our connections to photographic images, technologies and the systems that ask to speak for our photographs.

The projects included here invite the viewers to immerse in transitions and transformations, in discomfort, in the borderlines between vision and sense, knowing and unknowing. At the same time, these works refuse nostalgia in its depoliticized state. These projects are defined by the viewpoint and lived experiences of their creators: female-identified, immigrants, descendants of inherited traumas, caregivers, providers. Photography is key to efforts to claim visibility, capture narratives and elicit conversations about the lives of vulnerable bodies and communities. The works on view are opening points, a threshold, for a conversation that should never be silenced, a conversation that is concerned with the conditions of its production – the present and future of photography – as it is concerned with its political, social and personal content.

The exhibition begins with and honors Aline Smithson, a mentor, photographer and educator, whose work with artists is redefining photographic practice. If Memory Serves celebrates her immense contribution to photography and further comments upon the reach of her stewardship and pedagogy. The participating artists have all been studying with and from her. Seen together, their works offer profound insight into our co-existence with photography, suggesting meeting points between personal experiences and broader societal issues and conflicts – from privacy to grief, from representation to immigration.

Read More