Collectables #3 (144° 59_ 18_ E, 37° 46_ 8_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables investigates the narrative history of found objects which have been left on the streets of Melbourne. Considering in particular domestic objects, which may be rehoused or repurposed, the project evokes a lineage of ownership, linking disparate individuals in a unique narrative traversed by the object. The images produced in this project document a stage in this journey and aim to capture the aura of these personal histories.
The project involves multiple transformations between found object and photographic image. Initially, objects that might be collected by others are located in the street and documented but not removed. Through repeated photographing and processing, a layered image is produced which is then printed in the darkroom. This work is framed and returned to the site of the object to be freely collected by the public. Operating as a form of gift economy, these works enter the narrative thread of the original found object, while also initiating a trajectory of their own.
The locations of prints were shared via @kingsartistrun and @ezzmonem’s Instagram accounts. All the prints have now been deposited and collected either by passers-by or people actively following the project online.
Scroll down to view the full ‘Collectables’ series and accompanying digital poem by Angela Glindemann.
Collectables #1 (144° 59_ 3_ E, 37° 48_ 7_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 2 of 6
Collectables #2 (144° 57_ 59_ E, 37° 49_ 3_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 3 of 6
Collectables #5 (144° 59_ 2_ E, 37° 48_ 3_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 2 of 6
Collectables #6 (144° 58_ 55_ E, 37° 47_ 31_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #8 (144° 58_ 39_ E, 37° 47_ 48_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #9 (144° 53_ 6_ E, 37° 49_ 46_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #10 (144° 57_ 44_ E, 37° 46_ 14_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #12, (144° 58_ 2_ E, 37° 46_ 34_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #15 (144° 58_ 16_ E, 37° 47_ 0_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #16 (144° 55_ 50_ E 37° 47_ 55_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
Collectables #18 (144°57_23_ E, 37°45_37_ S), Silver Gelatin prints, edition 1 of 6
As Ezz Monem’s Collectables prompts us to see objects around us as ‘found art’, I sought to create an experience of ‘found poetry’ in response. This digital poem simulates the experience encountering an unnamed, unknown object, and then making meaning from it, as it is first perceived, and then recalled and revisited in memory. The poem is influenced by post-structuralist concepts, as well as questions about the definition of art, and thing theory.
Inspired by the use of found objects in the exhibition, I included within this digital poem many adjectives taken from local Gumtree and Facebook Marketplace ads. Using this tool, I stripped text from the ads to create the components of the poem. A random selection of these adjectives appear in the digital poem each time it is played, replicating the sense of spontaneity and ‘foundness’ within Collectables. As the poem unfolds, it expands to include an additional random adjective, taken from a pool of advertisements for second-hand artworks (also from Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree).
Like a found object, a found word looks different depending on how it is situated, and on the narratives that a reader brings to – and creates from – the experience. With an element of randomness, and an element of the viewer’s beliefs about what it means to look at art, a poem is generated, in collaboration with the viewer, and with the unknown owners of the second-hand objects for sale.
To read the digital poem, click this link. Then, click the ‘…’ or bold text to choose your path through the poem.