This presentation brings into play both personal experience and collective historical knowledge. An exhibit that uses two significant objects from my forebears, a limestone orb (an ornamental/architectural feature from my grandparents’ house) and an old toy (a plastic turtle from the 1960s).
The metonymic character of objects and images of the past is often revealed when they are deployed in the field of art. This reuse is a particular repetition that uses the originals, and thus lends present emphasis to these past objects and images. This is a process that takes the component of the presence of the object as a means of summoning the viewer and circumscribes any approach based on content.
A discourse on what memory is and how it is manifested must be a discourse that connects different times and encompasses the operations that constitute mnemonization. This very lecture allows us to extrapolate that memory is a museum in each individual, just as we are our past and the way we repeat its themes, using the difference. This repetition will be a unique immanence that combines historical experience and affectivity, where individual experience is the minimum element that constitutes collective memory; a minimum element of a personal nature, but which expresses itself in silence.
Mário Mendes (Coimbra, 1965)
Psychiatrist and keeper of the memories of his grandparents, ex-emigrants from Brazil and farm owners in the Condeixa-a-Nova area.