An installation view of Dario Robleto's An Instinct Toward Life, in his show Heaven Is Being a Memory to Others at the Frye. (Photos by Adam L. Weintraub)
2008 is not even half over, and I'm putting money on Dario Robleto's new exhibition at the Frye Art Museum as the Seattle exhibition of the year. Basically, Robleto, a San Antonio-based artist, went in search of a dead Seattle woman, Emma Frye (co-founder of the museum), and this show is the story of his dark travels.
A closer view of An Instinct Toward Life, with two madonna-and-child paintings from the permanent collection.
Not much is known about Emma, except that she was married to Charles, had a miscarriage, and never after had children. Heaven Is Being a Memory to Others is an imagined walk through her life led by a call-and-response of 19th-century paintings from the Frye's permanent collection and 21st-century "sampled" sculptures made by Robleto using such materials as melted-down audiotape of the longest-married couple talking about their marriage, melted lead excavated from various wars, and fulgurites, or glass made from lightning striking the desert. The show is also a story about the making of an art collection, about war and love, and about loss and the remix—but this is enough to start with.
A detail from Robleto's sculpture Time Measures Nothing But This Love.
Just listen to the artist talk.