Columbus based artist, Bobby Luck, is displaying his work to campus throughout April with the free showing of his short film, “Bethel” at the Wexner Center for the Arts.
The piece is an exploration of memory, relating to Luck’s experience of suffering a traumatic brain injury after being the victim of a hate crime and losing his memory.
“I was really inspired by my childhood self — the concept of, ‘What did you keep with you and what did you leave behind?’” Luck said. “I think the recreation of memories is important because they are recreations of memories I have lost so that was really important to me. I had to make sure I could get as close to the original memories as possible.”
Luck mainly creates collages, but this is his first short film. He started the Free Skool for Humans Initiative and teaches collage and film theory workshops across the country. He also participates in many of the Wexner Center’s education programs, such as Pages and Super Sunday, and will serve as a juror awarding the grand prize in the center’s Ohio Shorts festival on April 29.
Jennifer Lange, a curator of the Film/Video Studio program, which hosts residencies and provides post-production support for artists such as Luck, said he is an interdisciplinary artist who works in a variety of modes, depending on the ideas he is trying to express.
“More and more, the artists who can make activism and education just as much a part of [their] practice as making installations, do the exciting work,” Lange said.
Lange says that Luck’s piece is a larger exploration of what memory really is.
“It’s like an act of resilience really, creativity fueled by personal experience,” Lange said. “What Bobby is trying to do in this series is really this practical thing — he had this traumatic brain injury and lost memories and is trying to piece them back together.”
In 2015, Luck moved to Columbus, which he finds to be a comforting balance between a big city and small town. Lange hopes Ohio State students see that an artist can have a career here instead of constantly focusing on Los Angeles or New York.
“Bobby is an example of how an artist can have a rich, interesting, fulfilling creative practice right here in Columbus,” Lange said. “He’s able to work with institutions, he’s able to work as an individual and with other artists. It’s a smaller community but that doesn’t mean it’s any less rigorous or any less inspiring or creative.”
Overall, Luck hopes this piece can help inspire students to come to terms with their pasts, instead of always being concerned with the future.
“When you’re going through school, you’re so focused on moving forward and what’s going to be happening in the future that you don’t have a lot of time to sit and reckon with your past self and who it’s making you out to be and how it’s driving forward,” Luck said. “I think that’s what this piece is really about — reassessing and regathering to make sure you know where you’re standing at.”