Wednesday, 23 February 2011


Collecting has the power to express not only a person's wealth but also their ideals. It is said that to know a man, simply ask him what he collects. If we are what we own, then what do these intimate scraps of everyday life say about their owners? To an outsider they may seem banal or even peculiar but every object means something to someone; on further inspection, it is clear these objects were hand picked and are treasured by the collector.

Collectors accumulate object to either distance themselves from the universe, or they may have collected from a need to belong to the greater whole. or perhaps collecting objects that carry memories of past experiences demonstrates that you are still alive. Unquestionably, in a world that can seem chaotic, this is one aspect of our life that we can manage, so perhaps we collect simply for control. 

Freud would say that possessing is all about fetishism: again and again irrational and obsessive substitution of the love of a person with the love of an inanimate object: compulsive repetition in order to prolong the original pleasure of acquiring.

Martin Kelner explains in his 'Theory of the Meaning of Life', "life is about acquiring stuff, the acquiring more stuff, changing your stuff around a little, then acquiring more stuff, then getting a bigger place because there's no room for your stuff, getting rid of some stuff then getting a smaller place because you haven't got as much stuff...then you die..."

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