Marianna Dellekamp

(Mexico, 1968)

For the last few years I’ve focused on the study and creation of collections. I’m interested in objects without any apparent use and those that are no longer useful. Objects that have lost their real value and are now relevant for their meaning, or for what they represent. Pieces that elicit invaluable associations in the eye of a collector.

We all tend value to objects: In them, we deposit emotions and feelings that take us back to specific persons or situations in our lives. The pieces no longer have their original function and, instead, have become reservoirs of memory.

Another constant in my work has been collaboration. I’ve outlined a methodology of action in which I construct the premise of a project, but seek the random action of my collaborator on the final product.

Based on these two premises, I decided to accept the invitation of Casa Gallina to collaborate with the community of Santa María la Ribera. We convened several women to spend one afternoon a week knitting and conversing. The idea was to develop a conversatorium: a comfortable, pleasant space that would build trust; a space for sharing experiences and being heard. It seemed to me that knitting was an activity that could lend meaning to this weekly meeting, prompting the participants to learn something new, or simply share what they already knew.

Once the group was formed, I asked everyone for an object that was charged with memories or emotions for them, or something that had belonged to a loved one. These were placed at the center of the table as catalyzers for the stories they held. At the same time, each woman shared her experiences and created, or wove, an intimacy with the group, which invited the others to share, thereby producing a fabric of collective memory. When the session ended, the object was photographed and the image integrated into an in situ gallery organized by all of us. This improvised collection gradually helped to reinforce the bonds that united us as a group, and to consolidate our feelings of belonging to the collective.

A replica of each object was also produced in porcelain. This material is very resistant to outside elements and prompts memories of precious olden objects, often collected by someone near or dear to us.

Once the production of the pieces was finished, each woman broke hers, thereby touching off a liberating ceremony. Later on, the artifacts were restored as a way to conserve the scars revealing the history of each one, the story of each woman.

— Marianna Dellekamp

Curators: Osvaldo Sánchez and Josefa Ortega
Final Project: Video installation with porcelain and bracelet.

Marianna Dellekamp, Porcelain 2017-2018, inSite/Casa Gallina.