forget or to be forgotten

30*40*5cm I framed
golden locket 1875-1901 I found note
Marie Snauwaert (BE), Lauren von Gogh (ZA)

In 2009 Marie Snauwaert and Lauren von Gogh changed hometowns – Ghent/Johannesburg. Snauwaert collected lockets made of gold from pawn shops, while living in Johannesburg. At the same time, von Gogh subconsciously collected handwritten letters, shopping lists and notes she found on long walks in Gent. 

Background information lockets:

Lockets open to reveal the essence of a loved one, containing photographs, locks of hair, or any other item that may stimulate sentiment. A locket functions as a treasure, a holder of memory. After the discovery of gold on the rand in 1886, Johannesburg, the demand for gold lockets increased. The city was built, literally and economically, on the same gold that made these memory-clasps. 

Today, over a century later, the majority of the original owners of these lockets have faded into history, and the lockets have been lost, pawned or sold. Johannesburg’s supply of gold ore is gradually running out. Mining companies strive to refine and re-refine old mine-dumps to sift out the last microscopic trace of the precious metal. The Top Star Drive-in situated on top of one of Johannesburg's mine dumps has been shut down for this purpose.