One of the most fascinating characteristics of the past is that it is contemporary. History is what we make of it in our own times. The movies are in a exciting competition and interaction with painting, archeology and literature, to name a few. Come see the exhibition Hollywoods Egypt at the Rijksmuseum voor Oudheden in Leiden, Netherlands.
Someone broke all of the “deal toys” earned by his colleague
So when one associate awoke one morning to find all of his airplane deal toys broken, he was devastated.
Apparently everyone assumed it was just a “barbaric” copy center worker.
But at the time, Godiwalla heard through firm gossip that a rival associate had broken the toys. Word got around because he bragged about cutting the wings off and taking out the small pilot and breaking off his head.
Source: Suits: A Woman On Wall Street
Searching for examples of contemporary collecting I came across two amazing objects in the collection of the Museum of London called Tombestones, also known as Lucites or Deal Toys. They are businessmen trophies, commemorating a big business deal. Never heard of the phenomenon before, but it must be a fantastic collectors item, documenting the global economy of the last two or three decades as I understand from this article in the Financial Times, cited on the website of one of the major producers of the objects: GDN.
Couldn’t find any ‘tombstones’ of this kind in the online catalogue of the British Museum. But that may be because I did not take he time to search al 343 items that show up when you enter the keyword tombstone. However, a quick search in the Smithsonian collection database didn’t produce any hits either. Is the Museum of London ahead of the pack?
Browsing the blog of Artthreat I came across the review of Brian Howells show at the Winsor Gallery in Vancouver last year. Howell photographs shopping carts which he buys from homeless people. They are beautiful, Howells pictures, and so are the shopping carts he has collected.
It makes one realise the prominent place the shopping cart has in contemporary collecting. It is an exceptional contemporary collecting tool, serving both as a symbol of the affluence of our western society, the American dream, being the democratisation of the cornucopia, and as a symbol of the homeless and deprived, who have to survive on the waiste produced by the consumer society.
In an unsettling way the shopping cart brings together the ethics of collecting and sustainability. It is all about the culture of materiality and the ‘cambrian’ explosion of articles of the modern and post modern age. Never before there were more objects to collect. And it is about the downside of this bonanza, creating sheer unmanageable quantities of waiste.
Some of my colleagues at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands are maritime archeologists. There is a lot of Dutch heritage at the seabed all around the world. No want of work there. Still, I wonder when the first maritime archeologist will start to ‘excavate’ the ocean garbage patches. They must be the largest time capsules of the 20st century on earth. The Museum für Gestaltung in Zürich had a great show on this subject this summer. Talking about cornucopia.