A Replica of Marcel Proust's Original Madeleine
Golden plate, Glass bell, Madeleine cake, 2019, 27 x 13 x 13 cm
One of the most cited and referenced passages of European literature is from Marcel Proust's novel ‘A la recherche du temps perdu.’ In it, he describes the narrator biting into a tea-soaked piece of madeleine and unlocking vivid childhood memories. ‘A Replica of Marcel Proust’s Original Madeleine’ features a real madeleine that is sealed and presented in a luxurious glass bell, treating it as a valuable museum object. The madeleine is not accessible for anyone to touch, smell or taste, and it doesn't have a pragmatic function. It's merely a poetic symbol of the power of an object to evoke past experiences. The work examines the different functions that replicas of supposedly valuable artefacts possess, especially when the artefacts are fictional.