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Evelyn Golden

Evelyn Golden

B. 1994 Newton, MA

Instagram: @evelynlgolden



I have a fear of being only partially known — which is ridiculous because that is all I can ever be. Not one person, including myself, can ever truly know every part of who I am and how I came to be that way. 

One of the reasons I am so obsessed with objects that have belonged to loved ones is that they are tangible. They are knowable. They are evidence.   Both my father’s parents had Alzheimer’s and lost who they were in front of my eyes. I was so young at the time, I feel I never really knew them. And after they died, they became unknowable. Sure, I had memories of them. And sure, there were stories.  But memories color with age and no story is ever told the exact same way again.   That’s why I love relics. I cling to objects they left behind. Papa Sy had a handful of matchbooks he left in his stead. They proudly proclaimed “Buy from Sy” and directed one to the address of his long-closed Chicago storefront.

My mother’s mother passed on many things including her chocolate cake recipe.  The recipe was passed down and used by her four daughters. We make the cake in celebration and we make the cake in sorrow. When we make her cake we remember grandma— bits of her. Glimpses of who she used to be.

Careful reproduction of an object brings it into the present moment and affords glimpses into its history - a smudge of dirt or a fading patina show use. Hands have held these objects and left their mark. People have made these recipes again and again, out of care and need to feed loved ones. To bring histories and memories back into their lives.  Both the recipe and the matchbook were relics of previous generations. The matchbook belonged to my grandfather and was used to promote his business. The recipe belonged to my grandmother and was used on special occasions to show care.

I can know these objects and the traces they hold— where they were faded or chipped. They were used and held. They are evidence. 

-Works Inventory


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