Drawn to the more extreme collecting of objects, the uncanny, and the obsessive, I am exploring the acts of choosing, collecting, and placing objects in a personal space. This work is linked to environments like Victorian interiors, where decadent ultra accumulation, obsessive repetition, hyper patterning, and an extreme level of choice and control, can reveal and reflect an individual’s desires.
Much of my recent work has originated from the discovery, through a Google search, of another Madeleine Stern (NY, 1912-2007). She and her partner lead rich lives, publishing over 40 scholarly books and memoirs, traveling widely, and operating an antiquarian book dealership for over fifty years. After visiting the other Madeleine’s partially emptied apartment and receiving objects that belonged to her including jewelry, books, and figurines, I found myself with a small trove of items and information. Like a scientist left with the outcome of a long series of experiments, I have been wading through my findings. These investigations have continued into the Madeleine character in the film Vertigo, St. Madeleine, and Proust’s Madeleine, but always orbit the conceit of the object and its copy.
Artist Bio / CV
Madeleine Stern lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She recently earned an MFA from Pratt Institute and received a BA from Oberlin College. She previously worked as at the ICA, Philadelphia; The Galleries at Moore College; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.