VALUING THE MEMORY OF PAST EVENTS THROUGH OBJECTS
The artist Petra Vlasman promotes a project consisting of two exhibitions and an educational activity, whose theme is the memory of past events through objects.
For the elaboration of one of the exhibitions, Homenatges (Tributes), the artist asks for the participation of anyone interested in doing a ‘memory action’, by sharing a photo of an object that has a personal meaning, and that has provided guidance at some point in life.
This growing collection of images and texts will allow people and objects to meet and connect.
THE OBJECTS THAT SURROUND US
In these months when many of us are more at home than usual, you may have noticed that you are more in touch with things in your family environment and that these things are now taking center stage.
Objects are an intrinsic part of our lives, coexist with us, surround us as silent partners in life, and bear witness to the events we experience. They hold memories or call to action.
Objects can be something to hold on, to give comfort, hope, resilience, a purpose or a sense of connection when they are associated with an experience that has a major impact on our lives, especially in times of crisis and transition, such as war, exile, political repression, COVID-19, a loss or any shocking situation we have experienced.
In this group exhibition you will see objects, with their associated stories, that the artist Petra Vlasman has been collecting after calling for citizen participation.
Thanks to the participants who have shared the intimate vision of a part of their lives with us, this collection of tributes to important life experiences has been formed.
WHAT IS YOUR OBJECT OF VALUE?
Does an object come to your mind that you have at home and that contains an attached memory, value, or personal meaning to you? Maybe it’s an object that belonged to your ancestors, with a family history, or maybe it’s an object that you acquired or that came to you at some point in your life.
If you want to participate you can join the next exhibition!
Just photograph your object and answer these questions and send them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR OBJECT OF VALUE:
- Can you describe your object?
- What year is it from and where does it come from?
- Why is this object important to you? What does it mean to you (what values does it represent) and what is it for?
- Can you provide a title that summarizes the answers to these first three questions?
Thank you for your trust! Petra will treat the photo of your object with respect; your contribution is the beginning of a growing collection that will allow people and objects to meet and connect.
Here are some examples of Cornelia, Marta, Denys and Marian, who have already sent their photo of their object (and the answers to the questions), so you can get an idea.
This is my father’s Star of David from 1942. When we lived in the Netherlands during World War II, in the German-occupied areas, Jews had to wear this star sewn on their clothes.
My father kept the memories of the war in a bag and this star was one of them. He left me the bag before he died.
The star is a remembrance of a terrible time for the Jews. Something like this should never happen again. I’m afraid of the anti-Semitism that is on the rise again in our time.
CONNECTION WITH THE EARTH
This is a volcanic rock that belonged to the godfather, my grandfather. I took it from his house when he died. My grandfather said it was shaped like a seal. He found it in the 1960s, when he was working in the vegetable garden, a job he did his whole life in very precarious and harsh conditions.
He was a man who had never been to school, but he knew all the secrets of the land, the plants and the garden.
A connection and a wisdom that this confinement due to COVID-19 has brought back to the forefront, which is where it should always be. I keep it at home as a reminder of a life lived intensely, with a lot of effort and work.
RIGHTS AND FREEDOM
This is the insignia of the WSPU Women’s Social and Political Union spokesperson.
It is a ribbon embroidered with the acronym WSPU and the word ‘Speaker’. It has a golden garland depicting olive leaves. It belonged to my grandmother Amy.
It was given to her in 1908, the day he spoke at a suffrage meeting in England.
For me it’s important to know that my grandmother was a feminist and activist. My mother gave me this badge; she always taught me the importance of exercising the rights we have as women – and which we have not always had – and of fighting for freedom.
LOSS AND LIFE
This is a 700-gram donut-shaped stone that just fits in my hand. It is clearly very old and shows traces of human processing.
My mother found this stone in the 70s when she was looking for fossils. It moves me that she thought this simple stone was special enough to take home and keep for the rest of her life.
After her death, I put it on her coffin during the farewell ceremony and since then this stone has been mine. I love it because it’s a “thousand things” stone.
It teaches me that humans have always wanted to innovate and master nature; it also teaches me how important it is to look closely — if it’s not because of that close look, the object doesn’t make sense — and how a small object can represent something big. But this stone is also a symbol of my mother’s strength and my grief at losing her.
NOVEMBER 2020: TWO EXHIBITIONS IN THE MUME (MUSEUM MEMORIAL OF EXILE)
From November 2020 to March 2021, the MUME Art and Memory space will host two exhibitions by the artist Petra Vlasman and, at the same time, a transversal educational project will be carried out at the La Jonquera Secondary School, inspired by the exhibitions.
Dissolt (Dissolved) is the title of the artist’s personal exhibition, in which she plays with objects inherited from her ancestors, recreating worlds that are only possible through the eye of the camera. They are objects that evoke important historical events, such as World War II.
For the artist Petra Vlasman, this exhibition represents a further step in completing the assimilation of the war past of her parents and grandparents, on which she has been working for years.
In the still lifes and collages that she will exhibit, she includes objects that belonged to her ancestors, objects that have lived important historical events and that hold valuable memories.
Homenatges (Tributes) is the title of the participatory exhibition, in which all interested people can share a significant object in their lives through photography and text. Around these two exhibitions, the artist will give collage and photography workshops at the MUME, and with the students of the Secondary School of La Jonquera she will work in the classroom.
This growing collection of images and texts will allow people and objects to meet and connect in a parallel exhibition to the Dissolt (Dissolved) exhibition.