Life of Things (Intimate Spaces)
Life of Things
In this project, I examine the power of sentiments behind possessions and what happens when the objects are detached from the individuals who imbued them with meaning.
These photographs were made while exploring estate sales. The home is a sacred space where we can safely be ourselves. Watching these objects be reassigned from memory-inducing treasures to valued for liquidation was stirring. In western culture, acquiring things is a way that we relate to the world around us. The objects we surround ourselves with provide a sense of self-worth, security and inform others of the person we think we are.
The true value of an object is not only its practical usefulness but also a physical manifestation of memories. In visiting these collections that people have acquired I can't help but be curious of the memories attached. What is the relationship between the object and the person who holds on to it?
Exploring these concepts begins with photographing, during the estate sale liquidation, the scene from a home left behind. A landscape of life with the objects in their locations as left by the owner. After this, I begin a diagnostic cataloging; I profile a few singular elements from a collection and present them in isolation. Finally, I arrange different objects into a still life that brings together possessions from a common collection. Using only elements available in the home, I create a portrait of each owner to explore how these collections differ depending on socio-economic, geographic, race, gender and age demographics.
This project is my attempt to understand and visualize the weight of those memories. Because once left behind, an object loses its tether and again is only an object. And the landfill is full of the untethered.