Treasures installation


(....) In the beautiful cases filled with a Wunderkammer of treasures collected by or given to the monks – glass bottles, Etruscan figures, Chinese teacups – Silvina Der-Merguerditchian installed her own “Treasures.” The installation builds on an astounding object she inherited from her maternal great-grandmother Hripsime, a hand-written notebook of 350 folk health remedies, written in Armenian script in Turkish language. Hripsime, a genocide survivor who immigrated to Argentina with her son, Silvina’s grandfather, wrote the book in Córdoba in 1943. The installation consists of the 130pp. archival notebook itself, and of objects that are building on the archive – the ingredients of these recipes, Anatolian plants, small sacks full of seeds and other healing substances, as well as the chemical formulas by which they might be assembled and do the work of healing. Photographs of Hripsime and her family are there, amidst images of well-known Armenian doctors and healers. The artist relates her great-grandmother’s recipes to medical manuscripts and encyclopedias dating back as far as the Middle Ages, pharmacology textbooks, and other manuscripts from San Lazzaro’s impressive archives “putting her … back into the line of History, into the tradition of healers from Cilicia.” (...) (Fragment of text by Prof. Marianne Hirsch, Columbia University)

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© Silvina Der Meguerditchian