History of Things 2012 - present

The History of Things

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’. Discarded objects form the basis of collections of material culture that are catalogued, arranged and displayed in drawings, photographs and installations. 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 with 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. He makes a distinction between man-made objects that are useless though perhaps beautiful (art) and man-made objects that are useful (tools and vessels).  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.