Ian Penn: Projections—A Monument to Personal Memory
Exhibition TypeIn-house exhibition
Event DateJune 30, 2011–September 16, 2011
VenueVancouver Holocaust Education Centre
DescriptionThe Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre proudly presents the first solo exhibition of Vancouver-based artist Ian Penn.
In Projections, Penn explores memory and post-memory—the Second Generation’s relationship to the Holocaust—through drawing, video, photography and sculpture. Portraits of elderly women composed of drawings overlaid with video testimony consider how individuals affected by traumatic events project their past in the present. A companion piece composed of family photographs transformed with wax from melted Shabbat candles addresses the complexity of heritage, ritual and remembrance. Penn’s monument—consisting of two distinct but interrelated installations, the surrounding space punctured by sculptures of parchment paper—suggests a mode of exhibition and commemoration in which the historical and archival, as well as the personal and familiar, are essential for understanding.
Ian Penn was born and raised in Australia, of Holocaust survivor parents. A medical degree and career in interventional cardiology was bookmarked by the study of philosophy and political science and, more recently, fine art. Penn has practiced medicine, taught, researched and invented medical devices that assist in the care of many. From 1992 to 2000, Penn was the Director of Interventional Cardiology at Vancouver General Hospital. He has published over 120 abstracts and articles and has an active art practice. Upon graduating from Emily Carr University in 2010, Penn received the Contemporary Art Society of Vancouver Emerging Artist Award (Visual Arts).