Recology San Francisco
Artist-in-Residence Exhibition

Spring, 2014

"The works Jamil Hellu has made during his Recology residency explore a range of ideas related to identity and portraiture. Examining how we create and negotiate our identities throughout our lives, Hellu looks at our memories via objects, and contemplates the pivotal influences that shape who we are. The work questions the shifting nature of identity and the many roles we play in our personal and professional lives. In some cases, Hellu places the things he has photographed alongside their images and brings poignancy to mundane yet once cherished items. He also replicates scenes in found photographs that are simultaneously humorous and touching, pointing to commonalities between seemingly different people. 
The exhibition explores identity in crisis and what it means to dispose of key markers of identity in a place like the public dump. If throwing away things, especially photographs, is a metaphor for the loss of individual identity, then the dump pile becomes a homogenous monument to general human experience. Illustrating this is Hellu’s shredded pile of 119 snapshots of people at the Golden Gate Bridge—both a permanent erasure of these specific memories and an evocation of the significance this destination holds in people’s lives. Other photographs expand on Bay Area and California love, as well as a love of photography itself."
Once Upon
Assemblage: wood, glass, vintage 1950s Polaroid Land Camera
Wonder Woman 2014
Digital pigment print with lasso, 30x24"

Accompanying text:
Wonder Woman suit found inside a black plastic bag on March 13;
Left boot found on March 8;
Right boot found on April 4;
Various bracelets found inside old traveling suitcase on March 18;
Faux-leather pink star belt found on April 22;
Metal mounting bracket found on April 26;
Wig found inside white plastic bag along with 3 other wigs on April 26;
Lasso found on May 1.
The Time for Miracles is Now
(Found books)
Digital Pigment Print, 30x24"
119 Found Photographs of the Golden Gate Bridge
shredded photographs, slide holder, and suitcase
Reenactments of found photographs
polaroids, chromogenic color prints, and found dice
North Bay Counties Map
Digital pigment print, 20x16"
Found Portraits
Collage of found photographs
Portrait of a Fan in Three Acts
Installation with found headphones
Studio assistants: AJ Maiorano, Corey Christopher, and Jerrod Littlejohn.
Special thanks to Matthew Gottschalk, Deborah Munk, Sharon Spain, Micah Gibson, and the Recology team.