H.M., 2009

1301PE is pleased to announce its first solo exhibition of new work by Los Angeles-based artist Kerry Tribe, featuring the debut of a new film installation, H.M. As with Tribe!s earlier works, H.M. explores themes around perception, memory and forgetting through a deft handling of the physical medium of film. Previously Tribe has staged a philosophical interview between a world-renowned film critic and his ten-year old daughter (Here & Elsewhere, 2002); re-enacted a car accident in a blizzard using special effects on a soundstage (Near Miss, 2005); and reproduced an episode of a notable German talk show in which Tribe and two high-school friends probed their differing recollections of a mysterious event from their past (Episode, 2006).


“Tribe’s conceptually charged work is distinct…her rigorously crafted installations offer a reconciliation between film as “film! and film as “cinema! through an ongoing investigation into the structuring of time.” – Gloria Sutton in Kerry Tribe: Recent History.

H.M. is a two-channel presentation of a single film based on the true story of an anonymous, memory-impaired man, the famous amnesiac known in scientific literature only as “Patient H.M.” In 1953, when he was 27 years old, H.M. underwent experimental brain surgery intended to alleviate his epilepsy. The unintended result was a radical and persistent amnesia. Though he was no longer able to make lasting memories, his short-term recall, lasting about 20 seconds, remained intact. He lived anonymously in this condition for more than half a century until his death on December 2, 2008, in a Connecticut nursing home. His case is widely credited with revolutionizing our understanding of the organization of human memory.

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