Provenance Unknown. An Imaginary Family Portrait  3 May until 7 July 2013

Tonie van Marle


Provenance Unknown, An Imaginary Family Portrait is an installation about an unknown Jewish optician and his imaginary family. It is a homage to a 'fantasy' family, representing a lost Jewish generation.

The idea for this work was inspired by the discovery of a collection of spectacles of an unknown optician at a flea market in Amsterdam.

The installation consists of five portraits, a family tree, two portraits of the optician and his son and a box with a clipping from an Israeli newspaper. The abstract portraits represent Jewish culture: Authority, Science, Wisdom, Grace and Pleasure.   

Tonie van Marle studied at the Akademie voor Kunst en Industrie in Enschede and gained her master's in English and Anglo-Irish literature in Dublin. Her work comprises installations, objects and drawings with references to archaeology, history and natural history. In her 'In Memoriam' projects, including Provenance Unknown, Van Marle places herself in the position of people who are not documented in official histories.  She uses 'sympathetic imagination' to make these unknown characters visible and to give them a place in our collective memory.

Tonie van Marle