Objets d’art

The value of things to people

INSTALLATION + PERFORMANCE
BY HANNAH KINDLER & MOULSARI JAIN

"What's the deal?" GROUP EXHIBITION
KREATIVEQUARTIER, MUNICH
2015

 

Hannah Kindler & Moulsari Jain share common ideas about artists questioning the status quo of our society, and challenging the way we live, and the things we accept as normal. 

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do objects lose their value when they have been used?

Value. What is it to different people, and who determines its scale? Are objects valued for the raw material that came from the earth, or are they valued for the human effort that went into making them useful objects, or even for the role they play in an individual’s life? And what happens when someone stops seeing the usefulness of an object, does it lose its value?

The used, discarded objects are displayed as valuable pieces of art, acknowledging their existence and importance enough to be placed on a pedestal or in a frame. Their descriptions are the stories of the role they played in the lives and identities of the people that once owned them.

The artists propose that these objects have a life and identity of their own, a story that involves the people who came across them and gave them purpose, but from whom they had to move on to the next phase of their lives, where they leave one owner in search of another. With them, however, they take their memories and experiences with their past owners forward into whatever future awaits them. Here, they pause to be acknowledged for their value, and all they have already added to the world by their existence.

The artists re-evaluate the value of the physical objects in our lives, proposing this value system as a new and normal part of societal culture to aspire to, as a part of healthy living together on a planet we share and not just as disconnected individuals consuming and taking whatever we want from the earth.

 

 
Black women’s sandles, 2008 Leather, glue, metal, plastic from the personal collection of Hannah Kindler Hannah received these sandles from Moulsari, and kept them because they were unexpectedly comfortable, even though they were not her style. Similarly, Moulsari bought these sandles after a friend recommended them highly, for their comfort rather than their aesthetic value, and after wearing them constantly for a season, she quickly outgrew her attachment to them, as well as to the friend who she bought them with.

Black women’s sandles, 2008

Leather, glue, metal, plastic
from the personal collection of Hannah Kindler

Hannah received these sandles from Moulsari, and kept them because they were unexpectedly comfortable, even though they were not her style. Similarly, Moulsari bought these sandles after a friend recommended them highly, for their comfort rather than their aesthetic value, and after wearing them constantly for a season, she quickly outgrew her attachment to them, as well as to the friend who she bought them with.

Each physical object is accompanied by an audio recording of the last owner telling the story of its role in his or her life.

Macy’s fannypack with Michelangelo keychain, 1990 Fabric, metal, plastic from the personal collection of Moulsari Jain Moulsari wore this fannypack almost every day when she was eight years old, after she got it at a kids’ event at Macy’s. The keychain identified it as hers, since Michelangelo was her favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, while her brother’s was Raphael. In spite of being unused for the past twenty-five years, this fannypack has traveled with her luggage across four continents ever since, for unclear reasons.

Macy’s fannypack with Michelangelo keychain, 1990

Fabric, metal, plastic
from the personal collection of Moulsari Jain

Moulsari wore this fannypack almost every day when she was eight years old, after she got it at a kids’ event at Macy’s. The keychain identified it as hers, since Michelangelo was her favourite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, while her brother’s was Raphael. In spite of being unused for the past twenty-five years, this fannypack has traveled with her luggage across four continents ever since, for unclear reasons.

Pot, 1942 Metal from the personal collection of Hannah Kindler Bought as a souvenir in Indonesia before the war, it has been preserved and passed on like a prized family possession in spite of having no real value, apart from the effort that the original owner made to preserve it, through the tragedies the family faced during war and into the present day. It has become a war veteran that carries the stories of the difficulties it saw all around through all those years.

Pot, 1942

Metal
from the personal collection of Hannah Kindler

Bought as a souvenir in Indonesia before the war, it has been preserved and passed on like a prized family possession in spite of having no real value, apart from the effort that the original owner made to preserve it, through the tragedies the family faced during war and into the present day. It has become a war veteran that carries the stories of the difficulties it saw all around through all those years.

 
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The artists provide a photo studio to invite the viewer to participate with an object of their own.

 

BECOME PART OF THE INSTALLATION

Do you have an object that you no longer use but still feel some attachment to? Do you think someone else could benefit from it? What if you were to put it up for adoption by someone who would value it as much as you once did? What is the story of this object and its role in your life?

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

1 Place the object in the provided photostudio
2 Photograph the object to emphasise its volume and special characteristics
3 Print the photo with the provided printer
4 (Re)place the photo in one of the frames
5 Hang the frame on the wall to highlight its importance appropriately
6 Write the story of the object and its role in your life briefly on one of the provided A6 cards
7 Attach the story card to the wall next to the frame