We hoard and surround ourselves with things to remind us of our past and to establish who we are. It’s as if the objects have got a magical power to stop time, keeping our memories alive. But when we are no longer here, forget, or dispose of the object, the web of stories disappears. And the object moves on, via a charity shop or an auction house, gathering a new story for someone else…
Another reason for our obsession with things is the belief that they carry powers and meanings because of whom they belonged to, a collectable pen used by Churchill, for example, a notion that the auction houses have always encouraged and something that goes back to totemism and ancient beliefs.
THINGS is a digital public art project where artists and writers are allocated an object to have for few weeks and they imagine stories for them. These objects are then placed on eBay site for the duration of a standard auction – 10 days, including their new ‘story’, a made up biography.
During that time they are also displayed together in an exhibition at 310 New Cross Road from 12-21 October, as a collection for the first and last time.