YOUR PARENTS ARE SOO OLD
Du 8 au 11 novembre 2019
Press preview : 8 novembre de 13h à 14h
Professional preview et Vernissage : 8 novembre de 14h à 22h
Le Carreau du Temple , rue Eugène Spuller– 75003 Paris
For its first participation at the AKAA fair from 8 to 11 November 2019 in Paris, 31 project presents a solo show by Georgina Maxim.
Your parents are soo old
is an exhibition presenting several new textile pieces by Zimbabwean artist Georgina Maxim. From second-hand clothes that the artist dismantles into hundreds of strips, she sews and invents abstract textile pieces, moving, torn and recomposed surfaces, thus creating a very personal cartography.
These clothes bear the history of their former owners, a silent memory and an absence against which the artist tries to remedy stitch by stitch. Georgina Maxim gathers the scattered pieces, sews, embroiders and draws the scars to fight against oblivion. Each colour and element thus assembled reactivates these stories accumulated into new narratives.
born 1980 in Harare, Zimbabwe
Maxim is known for both working as artist and curator with over a decade of arts management and curatorial practice. Maxim together co-founded Village Unhu in 2012, an artist collective space in Harare that has been providing studio spaces, exhibitions, workshops and residency programs for artists – young and professional. Maxim worked at Gallery Delta, her first experience during and after her studies at Chinhoyi University of Technology and is a qualified art teacher having taught at Prince Edward School for over 7 years. As an artist, Maxim’s work combines weaving, stitch work and the utilisation of found textiles creating objects that evade definition. Maxim describes her work as ‘the memory of’ the owners of these clothes, evoking the past and all these stories.
Maxim was a nominee of the Henrike Grohs Award (Goethe Institute, Abidjan) 2018, She has exhibited extensively with works being collected regionally (Gallery Delta, National Gallery of Zimbabwe) and internationally (Mojo Gallery in Dubai, Sulger Buell Gallery in London, Goethe Institute in Salvador de Bahia).
Recently Maxim studied African Verbal and Visual Arts – Languages, Curation and Arts (Masters) at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and she displays a body of work in the Zimbabwe Pavilion at the 58th Biennale Di Venezia 2019.
By Clémence Houdart,
2019 November, Paris
The preservation and restoration of memory is at the heart of Georgina Maxim's work. Through weaving and embroidery she assembles hundreds of scattered pieces of textiles from blouses, dresses and mostly feminine and second-hand clothing. Her works are nourished by the stories evoked by these garments as intaglio testimonies of those who wore them. Georgina Maxim works with the fragmentation and fragmentation of her medium and then stitches the shreds back together stitch by stitch, thus multiplying the stories and inventing new narratives.
Your parents are soo old, lyrics reminiscent of the artist's childhood, serve as the starting point for this series of recent works by Georgina Maxim. In the movement of successive generations from disappearance to birth, she draws a singular family narrative around filiation and its roots.
"Every time my Mbuya and Sekuru came, it was always for Parents' Day or prize giving ceremonies. On those days the class would rustle with whispers and laughter because my parents seemed so old."
Shabby Agnes, at the centre of this exhibition, is a large piece of textile all in thickness, colours, lace and woollen threads. A moving and torn surface, charged with the weight of the stories it tells, it is a tribute to the missing mother. Several dresses make it up, following the artist's creative process using the splintering of the material then its recomposition. The work is a social criticism of certain traditions and rites linked to Zimbabwean culture - such as the custom that following a death all the deceased's belongings are immediately dispersed in the public square.
Hands in the cookies jar, Mhingo / when you com back carry me II, Letters I wasn't supposed to read, are all evocative titles that unfold their narratives in an echo between each of the works. They refer us to the artist's personal history, but resonate with everyone like familiar anecdotes or phrases already heard in conversation.
This familiarity is often tinged with humour, as Georgina Maxim plays with incongruous embroidered details in her pieces, offering a breath of fresh air and a slight discrepancy to her discourse.
The use of textiles offers this immediate and very organic relationship to the work. Georgina Maxim speaks to us about the bodies that have inhabited these clothes, about their absence. She tries in a quasi-performative act, through the repetition of the stitches, the needle and thread and the mechanical gesture, to compensate for this emptiness. Georgina Maxim repairs and reveals the scars. She sews flush with the skin. Her works are like an open book, a diary that transcribes both these past stories and the narrative of a daily life - that of the artist.
Each of the colourful fabrics and threads patiently assembled draw a new cartography and propose territories with rugged reliefs, in a profusion of abstract form and a weaving work that seems to have no end.
born in Zimbabwe in 1980. She lives and works in Harare.
A textile artist, Georgina Maxim divides her work between her artistic and curatorial practice. In 2012, she co-founded Village Uhnu, a collective and an art space in Harare combining workshops, exhibitions and a residency program.
After studying at the University of Chinhoyi, she taught visual arts for several years at Prince Edward School while running the Delta Gallery, a historical gallery for contemporary art in Harare.
At the same time, Georgina Maxim developed her artistic work by turning to textiles and using the techniques of embroidery, sewing and weaving to destructure, cut out and reconstruct second-hand clothing. She thus creates singular works that escape definition: the artist herself describes her work as an act of memory, a transcription of the moment, of the lived moments and stories evoked by these used textiles.
In 2018, Georgina Maxim has been nominated for the Henrike Grohs Award (Goethe Institute, Abidjan). Her work has been exhibited in Zimbabwe and internationally (gallery Delta since 2009, Mojo Gallery in 2016, and the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in 2014).
Georgina Maxim has just completed a master's degree at the University of Bayreuth in order to deepen her curatorial practice. In the spring, she completed a creative residency of several months at the Goethe Institute in Salvador de Bahia. She had also presenting an installation for the Zimbabwean Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale in 2019.