The Stench of Orange Blossoms at Miriam Gallery
Opening: January 19, 2023, 6-8PM
Exhibition walkthrough + image share: February 23, 2023, 6PM and 7:45PM
Film Screening: March 9, 2023, 7-8PM
The desire to build a familial photographic archive stems from Martha’s own investigations into her ancestral imagery. As the years pass, archives become lost, images forgotten, dispersed over many households, or perhapsonly viewed through the screen (a picture of a picture). The artist reminisces on the materiality of the printedimage, the turning of a scrapbook, the family gathering around a slideshow – a visceral interaction with the archive that often lives in our memory. Martha’s move to New York from Mexico City in 2014 spawned an ongoing desire to accumulate a family archive of her own in meticulous, detailed documentation: capturing the most mundane moments in order to build a cinematic account of her domestic life.
The power of Martha’s work lies within the epic gathering and accumulating. An image alone might seem to hold little significance: a familiar cityscape, a caressing hand, a cat in a windowsill, an orange tree. But paired and considered in intentional arrangements, the collection asks the viewer to meld familiar with strange, activating an endless possibility of narratives. The scattering of time and place in the viewer’s eyes calls for something wholly new – an archive rooted in ancestry, migration, and retrospection that is equal parts fantasy and history, personal and universal.