June 29, 2005

Stuff, Things and Data - The Museum of Me

Stephen hit the road on Monday afternoon after the movers spent eight hours packing up our “things”. We both thought that we had reduced our load by getting rid “stuff” including un-needed furniture, clothes and old “data” files. Despite the de-acquisitions we managed to fill an entire truck.

Speaking to moves and lightening loads, last week we attended a goodbye party for our friend Rupert Jenkins, Curator of the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Like us, Rupert is moving to the middle of the country, Colorado in his case, with cats and favorite furniture in tow. Rupert’s final curatorial statement is in the content of these exhibitions.

BARI ZIPERSTEIN: 10X10: 8 WEEK LEASE (RELUCTANT MONUMENT) and MARKING TIME MAPPING THOUGHT are artists’ studies into the collection of “things, stuff and data”. In MARKING TIME MAPPING THOUGHT artists create systems to make sense of seemingly random but personally-significant information. The by-products are the artworks themselves.

BARI ZIPERSTEIN’S solo exhibition features a mountain of moving boxes and asks the viewer to question why we accumulate “stuff, things and data”. Are we defining ourselves by creating the “Museum of Me?” How have we become so consumed with possessions?

The process involved in moving all your possessions - the evaluation of your “things, stuff and data” is an exercise in figuring out what defines you. How do we decide what makes the cut? What criteria do we use: quality, memory, value, space?

Although Stephen encouraged me to get rid of an old and broken laptop, it has Quickbooks with all my personal data, so that made the cut. The same with my archives of memory boxes and frayed photo albums filled with pages of stickers, postcards, letters and aging photos. “You have so much stuff”he told me as we assessed the rooms filled with boxes. Welcome to my traveling exhibition. Next show, Houston.