The word “mama” is not used to denote a single person, its meaning derives from the existence of two people: a mother and a child. Even if one of them is permanently missing, the “mama” dynamic can never be erased due to the necessity of a progenitor for our existence. This genetic necessity also makes the mother figure fundamentally irreplaceable and, in this sense, omnipresent.
To examine this, I made pairs of objects, tools that can cut and hurt, toys that cannot be played with, combs that insufficiently comb, knives that are too complicated for a child to use. The functional failure of the objects for a child demands the presence of an additional figure to make them safe or usable. The starting point of the work was my notebook from 1995 where I wrote my first word, MAMA, my first exercise of using language to create an abstract representation of a real figure. The detail of this handwriting is visible in some of the objects as a visual inference of the figure required to navigate them.
“Mama” series has an elusive silver lining. As the subject was a very personal issue I needed to increase the gap between the concept and the finite object. The saws, the knifes and the massive stones are freely associated with danger, pain, crushing weight not to a fuzzy and maternal warmth. In order to connect the feelings of pain and danger to the maternal sensation, a person must be wiling to go on a journey and unfold one by one the complex and mixed layers of a mother – child relationship, it’s dependencies that continue throughout a life time.