©Colin Malcolm                Photography   Jordan Anderson and Ida Blom

Colin Malcolm: “Memento Vivere is a paean to that influential moment in time, usually around 15/16 years old, that shapes your identity and stays with you throughout your life.

1986 was my creative year zero, the final years of a comprehensive education before succumbing to the psychogeography of my industrial surroundings and the reality of work. I had serendipitously stumbled upon New Order on a Saturday morning Chart Show television program, a live version of Temptation which seemed out of place and out of context. Afterwards I would go into town and track down their records opening up a whole new world of style and content.

The digital age makes it easy for us to revisit and rediscover. With rediscovering comes reinterpretation and the start of boundaries becoming blurred. Memento Vivere is for everychapter of my story that has been written and can’t be unwritten”. (2017)

Colin Malcolm is Senior Technical Coordinator with an MA in Design and lecturer at Edinburgh Napier University. https://twitter.com/Designnapier

It’s a bit unfashionable these days, in the visual arts, to make a thing of technical skills, knowledge of materials, precision of execution, as if they stand to get in the way of what it is that makes art, `Art’.  Yet we have all of these in Memento Vivere, a beautifully made assemblage / ensemble of cultural references from a time referred to by the artist Colin Malcolm as his `Creative Year Zero’; NewOrder, Factory Records, Peter Saville, Manchester, The Hacienda, of materials – rust, iron, wood, resin, flowers – and not just any floral arrangement but one referencing the flower paintings of the 19th century artist Fantin Latour (art critic Richard Dorment writes of Latour’s `chilly palette’), of experience, memory,and reflection. We have ambience and atmosphere, of a time, 1986, the artist’s `creative year zero.’

In Memento Vivere material physicality, memory and meaning are inextricably linked.  The work is the distillation of a time in music when vinyl, the record sleeve, design, interior spaces, were aesthetic physical manifestations of music and of youth culture, a time when the physical material statement went hand-in-hand with the authentic.