Deborah Aschheim

Deborah AschheimArtist’s Statement

I make installations that reconcile the physicality of bodies and spaces with the subjective experiences of the mind. I have mapped networks of my memories across the gallery, embedded in delicate webs of glowing fibers that replicate memory’s fragile, intimate lattice, and I collaborated with musicians to create sound sculptures based on my memory for language: each sculpture plays a unique musical composition based on a word I don’t want to forget. My family has a history of Alzheimer’s disease, so the threat of my own erasure lends an urgent subtext to my interest in memory and forgetting.

My current project, Nostalgia for the Future, is about memory and place and the haunting of the present by the misremembered future. When I was growing up, the future was limitless possibility, a jet-age, space-age techno-paradise. “Modern” meant new. Now, modern means old and the future I grew up with is irresponsible, obsolete. I miss the old future. My new work is driven by the unexpected poetry of endangered modernist buildings and their sense of failed utopia.



Select Solo Exhibitions from 2008-2011

feeling-of-knowing, San Diego State University Art Gallery, San Diego

Nostalgia for the Future, Edward Cella Art + Architecture, Los Angeles

Earworms, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, Calif.
Reconsider, Laumeier Sculpture Park, St. Louis

Select Group Exhibitions from 2008-2011

Hiding Places: Memory in the Arts, John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wis.

I Spy: Surveillance and Security, Sun Valley Center for the Arts, Idaho

Installations Inside/Out, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, Calif. The Lining of Forgetting, Austin Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, and Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Select Community-Based Artwork

Memory Mapping, narrative drawing map of Los Angeles created with seniors from Oasis Adult Education Program, exhibited at Westside Pavilion Mall, Los Angeles, funded by City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs

Fellowships and Awards

2011, 2009
City of Los Angeles Artist-in-Residence Grant, Los Angeles

Hixson-Lied Visiting Lecturer, Department of Art & Art History, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, Neb.

Hellman Visiting Artist, Memory and Aging Clinic, Department of Neurology, UC San Francisco

Individual Artist Grant, Pasadena Arts and Culture Commission, Pasadena, Calif.


M.F.A., 1990
University of Washington, Seattle

Brown University, Providence, R.I., Honors Anthropology, Studio Art