At home in London we have a large collection of photo albums dating back to when I was a baby (and before that, of course); these albums, however, feel like they should be something warm and familiar, and yet I experience them with distance. I don’t see myself in many of the pictures. It doesn’t feel like a me that I remember living as. It’s as if the outermost layer of a Matrioshka were the only one anyone ever saw, and never thought to open it. There are no pictures of this collection of photographs because they upset me.
a) What does this collection communicate? >It is a family history narrated pictorially. There are many thoughts and feelings which cannot be communicated through this medium, however, so it fails on that account.
b) What characteristics do the objects have in common? >They are all in the same medium of photography and are all around a central theme of memory-making and a sense of family.
c) What if the objects were in a different time/place/order? >In a different time, perhaps years in the future, these pictures might represent a grim reminder of human wastefulness and a tragic record of a once-green planet destroyed by greed and lust for power. I hope that won’t come to pass. In a different person’s house, it might be unsettling to find an album of photographs which do not belong to them. In a different order, photographs can say many things through their juxtaposition and the choice of which image is displayed next to which, the connections and story told can be entirely different. This is quite fascinating.
An artist who references collections in their work: Joseph Cornell!
a) What does this collection communicate? >These three framed works by Cornell are each collections in and of themselves. the way the images or icons are arranged makes for a compelling visual composition.
b) What characteristics do the objects have in common? >All three works are by the same artist, and all employ similar ways of grouping the items within them: in a glass-fronted case.
c) What if the objects were in a different time/place/order? >In a different time, the resources used to make these items would have been different. The visual combination might well have decimposed over time, and we would not have been able to see them today. In a different place, the works would be a travelling exhibition. In a different order, the sense of overall structurally-created harmony and balance in the artwork would give a different impression to the collection.