KALTBLUT presents: Somewhere Under the Rainbow 2016 – 2017 by Memymom. Which is part of the solo exhibition ‘Under Constant Construction’ at Loft22 Art Space in Antwerp till 23 March 2018. Memymom represents the essence of a mother daughter artist collaboration. In full preparation of their third book “Somewhere under the Rainbow 2016-2021”, Lisa De Boeck (Me) and Marilène Coolens (mymom) are testing their most recent body of work in the rough, rhythmic environment of the old diamond cutting shop that houses the gallery.
Although they are known for their ‘semi-staged dreamscapes’ — portraits that seemingly accidentally record moments in a hyper-realistic world and deal with metamorphosis, personal identity and the bond between mother and daughter — this formula is supplemented with current themes, as Memymom opts for plurality and an extension of their repertoire in this new collection. By deepening the themes of their works in international settings (Brussels, New York and California) and digitally styling them, a complex but engaging series of portraits was made. Like a movie that is condensed to a single frame but exudes the depth and meaning of a drawn-out story, without ever losing the unique value of their mother-daughter’s perspective.
Memymom, the moniker that photographers collective and mother-daughter duo Marilène Coolens (1953) and Lisa De Boeck (1985) has been using since 2004, is grounded in a shared past that has taken form in visual memories of imagined, staged lives. www.memymom.com
An intimate family archive of analogue photographs, made between 1990 and 2003, was transformed into an artistic project in 2013 titled ‘The Umbilical Vein’. A series of introspective images that inevitably confront you with your own perception. What contributes to the brutal beauty of what Memymom does is the staging. You see their pictures unfold as though they were veritable theatre or opera stages. The image sometimes contains so much symbolic and intimate expressiveness that it grabs you by the throat. A person is more than one emotion, more than one history. The fact that Lisa De Boeck often inhabits the same image in various guises is closely linked to Memymom’s penchant for the narrative aspect. Rather than making a series, the duo wants to imbue a single image with a whole story. .
It is the seemingly paradoxical thought that to make something that transcends you, you always have to expose more of yourself than you are really comfortable with. In other words, the more personal the inspiration, the further your words and pictures reach and the stronger the impact when they collide with the outside world. Perhaps it is precisely this that Memymom has been doing for all these years, and that comes to the forefront in constantly changing forms: the embracing of unconditional love, and transforming the power that it gives you into a subversive act. There is undeniable rebellion in the ways in which Marilène Coolens and Lisa De Boeck expose themselves, throwing off the corset or uniform. 2018 promises to be an important year for MEMYMOM, starting back in January with their exhibition in LOFT22 Art Space and ending (from September to December) with their solo exhibition in ‘Musée de la Photographie’ in Charleroi. WOMAN POWER.
L O F T 2 2 A R T S P A C E
Founder Frédérique Lippens wants to use LOFT22 art space to return to an intimacy that is lost in the sterile environment of the white cube. With aesthetic attention, the ‘apartment gallery’ is transformed into an experience hub in which artworks come to life in a total concept, based on the theme of the collection, as a complement to the exhibited work. LOFT22 art space wants to define its own rules and find new ways to bring art to an audience. ‘Under Constant Construction’ becomes the first event in this newfound perspective. WATCH. THIS. SPACE.