Collective Memory

In this body of work, Madelein Marincowitz explores objects passed down through generations of her family. The objects are personally significant to Marincowitz through their associations with the people that once owned them and the roles that the individuals have played in shaping the artist’s own identity. However, dislocated from their original contexts the objects operate as mnemonic devices for a collective melancholy nostalgia. The body of work, in its broader implications, refers to the notion of collective memory – the whole complex of ideas, aspirations, and feelings which links together the members of a social group. History is transformed from a series of consecutive events, to an active process of reconstructive imagination initiated by personal, wistful recollection.

“My art is a window into silence. A silence filled with the nuance of days gone by – tangible traces of where I come from and quiet glimpses of the collective memories which have shaped me. Each object is placed in a unique dimension, free from the clutter, but still marked by its journey. The shapes speak of a hushed complexity, breathing their own beauty. Beauty made real by its survival through the passage of time. A captured moment preciously preserved forever. Although each painting is a deeply personal reflection of my life, recognition tugs at the heart of each viewer – a shared space in which we can explore the symbols of our bittersweet existence. Objects filled with meaning, floating in a world of their own waiting silently to be seen.” 

iArt Gallery Wembley: A Project Room for Contemporary Art
Brundyn + (Gonsalves - formerly I'Art Gallery), Cape Town, South Africa


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