History of Things 2012-15
The History of Things is an on-going project in which each body of work can be interpreted as a new chapter or ‘room’ in ‘the museum’. The collections I display combine found cultural objects arranged and catalogued, with drawings and photographs pinned to the wall specimen-like. A system of displacement generates unexpected relationships. By ‘lifting’ objects out of their current discursive contexts (from house or shed, dump or excavation site) and reordering them in whole or in part under a new conceptual system, I attempt to create art-based presentations that challenge codified systems of knowledge and classification by presenting possible new taxonomies. While diverse in specific content, the exhibits share a common thematic; a critique of the ways in which museum collections institutionally frame perception to manufacture and embed a homogenizing historical memory.
In his book The Shape of Time, George Kubler suggests that it is the desirableness of things that links all manmade objects. The distinction lies between man-made objects that are useless though perhaps beautiful or poetic (art) and man-made objects that are useful like tools and vessels, thus ensuring that useless objects are not overlooked, nor useful ones overvalued. The objects in my own collections lie between Kubler’s description of useful and useless things, many having transformed from the former to the latter with the passage of time. The installations that make up The History of Things explore the liminal space between art and object, desire and function, use and obsolescence.