The text by Sebastian Cichocki describes an “Earth Museum in the Suburbs”, where a young boy named S.R. (Robert Smithson) collects natural objects according to his own system. The story takes place towards the end of World War II, which for the young boy is happening »as if on another planet«. Antje Majewski presents four sections of collections within her own Museum in the Garage. Each section has its origin in a different type of museum. Common to these objects is that their value cannot be translated into one of merchandise: they are priceless. Their value stems from their relationship to constructions of memory and history. They consist of shells, snails, bones and stones, old clay pots and shards, and small animal figurines made out of plastic. All remain connected to the human hands that held them and whose shadows they still carry.
Doubles for objects from the ethnographic collection of the Weltkulturen Museum Frankfurt, bought at the flea market in front of the museum. Many of the objects Antje Majewski was interested in are natural in origin and become meaningful within the context of their former use – the bone of a cow to stir soup, a big snail shell to play music. These objects contain not only the history of the hands that made them, but also the different histories of colonialism and trade. This museum is undergoing a very interesting shift in interpreting its role as a post-ethnographical museum, since Dr. Clémentine Deliss has become its director. Her aim is to let contemporary artists access the vast collections, so that they can reactivate the objects and bring them into new culturally meaningful contexts. There are of course limitations to accessibility due to conservatory, property and insurance issues. There is also the fundamental question of to whom these objects from non-European cultures belong, which spectators they await, and how and by whom they can be used in the future. Whereas the originals are stored in a depot, the doubles bought by Antje Majewski at the flea market can be touched, handled, and serve as presents. Some were given to friends; some are in Antje Majewski’s studio. The paintings were painted after the objects held in the painter’s hand.