Nohra Haime Gallery presents Love Relics by Adriana Marmorek
Love Relics is an exhibition of photographs and videos documenting the ceremonial burning of 12 treasured objects associated with love. The exhibition will be on view at Nohra Haime Gallery from September 13th - October 15th, and marks the Colombian artist's first major collaboration with the Gallery in New York.
Marmorek's work is a continuation on the investigation of "the architecture of desire," a series exploring concepts of desire and pleasure using erotic, social, historical and human elements. The idea for Love Relics began years ago, when Marmorek was given a small cast of a female's womanhood. While the cast discomfited her, the owner needed to liberate himself from this burdensome object of power that had become a personal reflection on the end of his love. Marmorek realized how seemingly insignificant objects can become adored treasures, or relics, when associated with memories of love or loved ones no longer with us. This notion motivated the artist to advertise an open call for donations of such objects, but unfortunately she received nothing. The lack of response was intriguing; it encouraged her to study the element of "intimacy", a very personal and oftentimes embarrassing component in our lives. Eventually she was able to gather 51 relics to include in "Reliquia", an exhibition held at the Museo Efimero del Olvido in the National University of Bogota in 2015. The collected objects were displayed like ancient artifacts in natural history museums, numbered and protected in glass cases, to relay their immeasurable value held by the owner.
As the exhibition came to a close, Marmorek proposed to burn the donated treasures, digging deeper into the concept of eternity and ephemerality. She conducted a ceremony as a final act of release for the owners and burned their objects, thus shedding the memories connected with them. Some treasures - of love, happiness, sorrow and anger - had associated memories so deep that they had replaced the physical and enveloped an intense spiritual being.
Therefore Marmorek's main question revolves around the concept of eternal love. What is the love that is eternal - the love for another, or the concept of love? Thus a second question arises: by burning these relics with the intention of making them ephemeral, do they become such? Or do these new mediums - photographs and videos - make them treasures again, and consequently, eternal symbols?
Love Relics will feature two main videos of wedding dresses as they burn, Relic #16: Wedding Gown and Relic #17: Wedding Gown, 2016, showcasing the destruction of these institutional flags. Also on view will be a group of photographs, capturing a split second in time, that display mementos such as an appointment book, a box of condoms, a matchbook and a bridal bouquet in the process of being swallowed by fire. Highlights include Relic #19: Wedding Night Pajamas (2016), Relic #30: Paper Umbrella (2016), and Relic #20: Bridal Book 1 (2016).
Marmorek's work has been exhibited in museums and institutions both nationally and internationally in the United States, Europe and Latin America. She participated in the Salón de Arte Joven-Artecámara, 2005 and 2007, was nominated for the PremioBienal de Arte de Bogotá, 2010, and partook in the Salón Regional de Artistas, Zona Centro, 2015. Additionally, she represented Colombia at ARCO Madrid, 2015, and participated in the SITIO section of ArtBo 2015.