ArtsvilleVicki McConville Galleries

Gallery – Memento Mori – art archives and archetypes

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Memento Mori translates as “Remember You Must Die”. It is also a description of an object of remembrance. In Medieval and Victorian times, people kept ‘memento mori’ of loved ones, a lock of hair, a memorial spoon, a clay death mask.

Director Federico Fellini once said, “all art is autobiographical, the pearl is the oyster’s autobiography”.

Memento Mori - art, archives and archetypes was created as part of Vicki McConville’s Masters of Fine Art (MFA) and was accompanied by a 20,000 word thesis including written and visual research. Memento Mori - art, archives and archetypes uses autobiography as inspiration for contemporary new media works and borrows from the wunderkammer  tradition of collection and display. Dating back to the 1500’s, and precursor to our modern museum, the wunderkammer  celebrated the idea that all the wonders of our world could be contained within a room, within a box.

Vicki McConville muses that “the computer is our contemporary wunderkammer” and has created a series of mirrored boxed dioramas, reminiscent of what American artist Joseph Cornell described as his “boxes of memory”. These were installed with digital prints, digitised super8 film and soundtracks.

The exhibition was shown at Red Gallery and Span Gallery in Melbourne Australia and was met with critical acclaim by Australia’s visual art critics and audiences alike.