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Flora Alcatraz - the totem of Kneginje Zorke

Watercolour and ink on paper, 76 x 56cm, 2020


In the time of the curfew to stop the corona virus spreading, people went into and tended to the nature in their gardens and balconies. This brings to mind the oldest known religion of Totemism by which the totem is the badge of the group and takes the form of an animal or plant from the group’s habitat. Each group (or clan) has a different totem and the totem animals and plants are believed to the group’s ancestors and founders. Laws are made to govern the relations to these totem animals and plants and they are regarded as higher equals to the group members. This was the first systematic division of worldly things into the holy and profane categories. Its laws were the first moral authority and after Emile Durkheim, it conceived all the elementary forms of religious thinking taken up by all later religions, the forms of which become increasingly abstract and impersonal and eventually fully take the human form. In the end only the taboo (the law) remains and the totem disappears from memory (after Freud “Totem and Taboo”).


Installation view in group exhibition 'After Lockdown', Novembar Gallery, Belgrade, 5 June - 5 July 2020

Digital print on Blueback paper, 300 x 230 cm

With 'Between Worlds', Watercolour and ink on paper, 76 x 56cm, 2019


all content © Mark Gerard Brogan