Back in the archives of shows seen, but not covered in their timeMemories of Earth was a multi-sensory immersive exhibition by trio BAGBAYSHA (Chris Bagley, Koko Bayer, and Thomas Scharfenberg) on view at Leon Gallery October 6 – November 10, 2018.

Visitors in the corridor section of BAGBAYSHA’s site-specific installation Memories of Earth.

As with other installations by the team, the show was a dreamy blend of bold graphics, wheatpastes, found objects, sound collage, and psychedelic lighting. Fresh popcorn popped and rained from above, in a surreal scene with the image of a warm sunset in the background. Paint-splattered artifacts were found throughout the space, and visitors were invited to bring small mementos to trade. In all, warm and peculiar sensory experiences that encouraged a shared sense of humanity.

Painted found objects by BAGBAYSHA
“Technician” reloading the popcorn maker in BAGBAYSHA’s Memories of Earth.
SHA (Thomas Scharfenberg) with guests at the closing reception of Memories of Earth.

As with previous installations, though, Memories of Earth is based on darker context. In Plastic Water (at Alto Gallery and MegaFauna), BAGBAYSHA brought attention to the alarming amount of plastic waste building up in our oceans. Memories in turn seemed to imply a post-nuclear wasteland and the objects left of humankind’s time on Earth. Never a group to go full doom-and-gloom, though, BAGBAYSHA balanced the heavy stuff with the light and fluffy, creating a bittersweet, but memorable experience.

Installation detail. Work by BAGBAYSHA
Security bubble part of BAGBAYSHA’s Memories of Earth.
Window installation by BAGBAYSHA
Thomas Scharfenberg with artist Aaron Mulligan
Interactive element of Memories of Earth.
BAY (Koko Bayer) performing maintenance on the popcorn fountain installation.