Sunday, 13 April 2008

Kept Objects

Raffle of artist's kept objects, Arnolfini Live Art Weekender

I was aware that I had many possessions that I was keeping and found it hard to let go of, despite the fact that they were sometimes kept out of sight in an attic or took up space in my room without being an active part of my life. In this project I picked 50 objects and offered them in exchange for participants reflections about holding on to things.

The objects included:
my running spikes from when I was 15
a cambridge university calculator from my first degree
my long-term collection of shells and pebbles
a set of miniature turtles in marble that was a 17th birthday present
a length of special printed fabric from a Brazilian carnival group

Some responses from participants are quoted below

"In my room at home - the room which I had as a kid - I still have a small pair of blue clogs painted in an attractive design, that I bought on a school trip to Valkonberg in Holland when I was 11 years old. It was the first ever school trip that I went on, and I felt incredibly grown-up as I had spending money and I made sure that I bought presents for all of my family. And I bought myself a baseball hat and pair of blue decorative clogs. And I still have the clogs…they're sat on a small shelf in the corner of my room.
For me, they are a souvenir in the genuine meaning of word -they can kind of remind me of that point when you feel far more grown-up than you actually are, but without any of the adult anxieties. I think I probably keep a lot of things from that period."

"I have about 145 old minidisks that I bought before the whole CD thing really picked up because I thought that minidisks were going to be the next big thing. And it turns out that they weren't. Although they are very useful for recording things. I have about 145 that I'll probably never ever listen to ever again, but they're all there. Like tapes - a lot of them have been made for me by other people, and they're quite special. They're covered in dust and I don't have a reader to play them in any more. But they're all there in alphabetical order in boxes. Under my bed."

Description of work:

A raffle table is set out, offering a range of the artist's possessions. In order to enter the raffle, each participant is asked to think of something he/she is holding onto - and to record an audio interview about this. The participant then picks a ticket and wins the corresponding object as a prize. This often led to further conversation about why the artist had been keeping that object.

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