So recently it seems that I’ve been enjoying documentaries more and more, maybe it’s something to do with all the interviews i’ve been doing, or maybe there’s just more better documentaries out there. Anyway this is a sad, brilliant and interesting film about life in Japan told by looking at a struggling couple.
got a mention on the great blog, fleuron. Check it out here: fleuron.com
More interviews, today with Violet Marriott, a Teddy Bear collector. A very impressive collection that is displayed on her sofa as you walk in which you can’t ignore. I guess the things which interested me where the age of the bears, which were generally though not exclusivley, old- like some over 100 years old. The acquisition, ad criteria of the bears was also interesting- they were obtained for aesthetic value and also to prevent their destruction- Vi commented that she liked the tattiest ones best, and they were acquired via auctions, shops, gifts, stealing and skips, and whilst heritage and providence played a part in some of the value (sentimental and fiscal) and where purchased for not inconsiderable sums they were placed on par with the least notable which had become something of a mascot. All the bears wore clothes, mostly made by Vi and she referred to each by name which either referred to some sort of history which the bear had 0r to it’s character- Edwin, Rupert (as in Brookes), Seigfried (as in Sassoon), Cherub, Blackie, Brass Eye, etc.
A couple of quotes: ‘well they’re not bears, they’re people’, ‘I like the tatty ones they’re special’
Overall I think I took away the idea of collectable and context again i.e. the age and the names and the ‘tattyness’, the idea of memories and experiences embodied into an object is also notable. Thanks ever so much to Vi for talking to me.
I organised my stamps- it was fun- took ages- kind of theraputic and gave me time to think- moving a collection around, ordering, being with it- these things are good research or something. And the thing about the different or strange being better than the rare- interesting is better than special.
Stamp Organising from Luke Thompson on Vimeo.
Not sure about this- I think the video doesn’t show what this thing is about- I haven’t got my thoughts clear enough about it for it to really make sense- but i’ve done it now so i’ll post the video.
Conveyor Shelf 1 from Luke Thompson on Vimeo.
A not very well thought out or written account of an interview. Big thanks tovery much Tony:
I went to interview the educater, artist and collector Tony Hayward, among his collections that he mentioned there was: his Indian Collection- rat traps, kerosene lamps, moving toys, jugs- postcards of swiss alpine hotels, shampoo bottle tops, viewmaster slideshows, pepsi branded objects, figurines, Paul Emil paintings, flipbooks, and books about collections.
All of which seemed to be linked to his work either by being a resource to use later in his work, or as reference for his work. He talked about the spirit of the hand crafted batch produced Indian objects: ‘surrounding myself with the spirit of something’. Some of his collections have become pieces of work in their own right rather than the physical material or inspiration for an artwork, the display process of his collections seems to be important despite claiming that the hunt was where the pleasure was derived from- I think this is more a result from being an artist and displaying being an intrinsic part of the process of that.
Tony also produces quite alot of books it seems- mostly containing his collections. There was one which was just nine images or so of chairs in India, these objects were recorded through photography alone, and then later published in a book. Even this seemingly insignificant collection was worthy of printing- He talked about how making books about the collections kept them going, and how he liked the ‘thingyness of books’ and contrasted these with websites and other display methods- I think this is nice in terms of turning a memory or record back into an object. Also the sharing and public display aspects of this is interesting- it turns a collection of objects into a piece of work, and again I think this is due to the artists need to exhibit and share.
Other things of interest: Tony described Deptford market as having strata, and how you could be opening boxes and a hit a seam of postcards that stop you in your tracks. Artifacts purchased for the Pitt Rivers being an outpost of the main collection. ‘I don’t really put things on display, I store them’- the collection as a bank/ store room for the collection- not living with it but visiting it. ‘It’s terrible I don’t really look at this stuff’.
Found this on iplayer. It’s a great documentary about an German armoured car salesman. It’s just a great film with a couple of beautiful moments, including one about breaking and improving. I hope the rest of this ‘Storyville’ series is as good. Link: Bulletproof Salesman
This image, though grainy was too fit not to post- I might even go back and snap it with a big boy camera.