All I Possess
November 26, 2017 4:17 PM   Subscribe

All I Possess
all i possess is an online installation by conceptual artist Simon Freund. A register of each and every object that the artist owns at this specific time. This installation is updated as soon as an object has drastically changed (ie is broken, was stolen, got lost) or when an object is added.

Oh hey. I have one of those too…
posted by device55 (35 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
 
Supported by Shopify
posted by chavenet at 4:27 PM on November 26 [3 favorites]


This is art?
posted by lometogo at 4:28 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


Sure. There's even historical precedent.
posted by device55 at 4:38 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


I was kind of hoping for a second it was all re-created in miniature in a physical installation. Someone should do that.
posted by limeonaire at 4:42 PM on November 26 [4 favorites]


I'm... not... finding this particularly interesting. Am I missing something? Just reminds me of those desperate websites where people get het up about the perfect capsule wardrobe or living with fewer than four possessions. And Shopify?

Michael Landy destroyed everything he owned back at the height of the YBAs.
posted by doornoise at 4:46 PM on November 26 [3 favorites]


The sterile way they are all photographed is somewhat interesting. They are all out of context and presented the way items on ecommerce sites typically are, to the point that they don’t feel like things someone actually possesses/uses.

I’m not sure I can attribute much meaning to that, but having seen the process that goes into taking photographs like this, I feel like the artist has taken products that were once frozen in that impersonal consumerist context, that are now actual mundane things that are part of their life, and put them back into that same mode, for people to peruse like items on said marketplaces. Not entirely sure what I take away from it yet though.
posted by defenestration at 4:53 PM on November 26 [4 favorites]


There's also something compelling about how the page just keeps scrolling. At first I was like "oh aren't you a minimalist" but then no, it just keeps going and going.

I also find reframing the work like products - or maybe like ex-products? - is interesting. That the site is supported by Shopify is some kind of double irony backflip.
posted by device55 at 4:56 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


Hah, I had the exact same reaction during that moment before the next batch loaded, device55.
posted by defenestration at 5:00 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


I am currently packing up all of my belongings into my truck and boy would my list look waaaay different. I have so many things.

And have more than two colorful things because I’m a real human not a robot.
posted by Grandysaur at 5:18 PM on November 26 [3 favorites]


More historical precedent: "Following a rambling conversation with his dear friend Robert Filliou, Daniel Spoerri one day mapped the objects lying at random on the table in his room, adding a rigorously scientific description of each. These objects subsequently evoked associations, memories, anecdotes; not only from the original author, but from his friends as well: a beguiling creation was born." (I have a copy; it's great.)
posted by languagehat at 5:27 PM on November 26 [8 favorites]


It seems like he's completely omitted his intangible possessions; his family, his sense of self, his family, his place in society, his credit score, his website. People are perhaps more qualified by the intangible than the easily photographed.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:36 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


I found it interesting. The format forces you to consider each item individually, whereas most people (maybe just me) wants to think of their stuff as, well, stuff.

Like, when you move house, you pretty much have to pick up every. single. thing. that you own and make an assessment: do I still want this? how do I pack it? where will it go in the new place? what would be the proper way to get rid of it? over and over and over again until you feel like you are drowning.

So, yeah. Can’t say I enjoy art like this, but it definitely provoked Feelings.
posted by um at 5:50 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


Tangentially related : All My Life For Sale
posted by brand-gnu at 5:53 PM on November 26


[turns on the Marie Kondo bat signal]
posted by mecran01 at 5:59 PM on November 26


I like it!

(the squarest comment you can make on Metafilter)
posted by roger ackroyd at 6:18 PM on November 26 [4 favorites]


The evil of banality.
posted by njohnson23 at 7:19 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


My mother-in-law did this, only in list form; every non-consumable item that came into the home, where it came from, the cost (if purchased), and its ultimate fate (discarded, broken, replaced, given away...)

Same with every Christmas present and card given and received, every year since the early 1970s. All written out longhand in neat little books, one for each type of list. That was an art exhibition in itself.
posted by andraste at 7:21 PM on November 26 [9 favorites]


Being a conceptual artist somehow pays a lot more than I thought it would. The man owns what seems to be possibly north of $1k in just coats, for having a wardrobe that spare. But I actually found I rather liked this, the combination of things, page after page. It was weirdly soothing to flip through.
posted by Sequence at 7:59 PM on November 26


Does anyone know the difference between an "online installation" and a website?
posted by blnkfrnk at 8:01 PM on November 26 [2 favorites]


Oh wow, I really love this. I didn’t make it to the end, but something about the jeans, holding the shape of their owner, touched me.

I also love seeing items out of context - so wrenches from a set but photographed individually pique my imagination somehow. Or the incongruity of a seam ripper outside of a sewing room. Thanks for posting this - I can see myself scrolling through it again some rainy morning with a cup of coffee at hand.
posted by hilaryjade at 8:06 PM on November 26 [1 favorite]


These objects subsequently evoked associations, memories, anecdotes; not only from the original author, but from his friends as well: a beguiling creation was born." (I have a copy; it's great.)

Over the holiday my brother led my wife and I on a short hike near Whiskeytown lake in Northern California. Along the way one of the dogs raced up the trail and started snurlfing around a dark lumpy thing in the trail. It sorta looked like a dead thing, and the Beagle was sure interested, so my brother called his dog back. It turned out to be an old baked and shriveled log or wood chunk. Nothing of any significance whatsoever. On the way back we passed that old log again, but this time it wasn’t any old log. It was the piece of log Tucker the Beagle snorfled around so much it made us think it was actually a dead coyote or something and not just a hunk of wood. That log taught me that we can’t help but attach meaning to the things we encounter.
posted by notyou at 8:06 PM on November 26 [4 favorites]


I do wonder where Shopify comes into this project though. I’ve never known them to be a involved in the art world. It’d be neat if it was utilizing their software in some way, but without prices and the ability to purchase anything—and that would further highlight and support the personal items depersonalized product atavism interpretation.

I enjoy art like this because you can project meaning onto it. The lack of a clear cut meaning gets me thinking and I’m into that.
posted by defenestration at 8:44 PM on November 26


A crass old joke:
Put a screw in your hand and show it to someone.
Say, suggestively, "Hey, wanna screw?".
posted by enfa at 9:06 PM on November 26


so... one pair of boxer shorts then? just... one pair of underwear? you either go commando or do laundry every couple days? what's going on here
posted by drinkyclown at 9:37 PM on November 26


So here's an (im)practical joke the internet could play on him: just start sending him random stuff; drop stuff off at his house, send him (physical) postcards.
posted by el io at 12:15 AM on November 27


just... one pair of underwear?

Given the name of the artist, perhaps this is the "Freundian Slip" I keep hearing people talk about.
posted by dashdotdot dash at 1:16 AM on November 27 [3 favorites]


I do wonder where Shopify comes into this project though.

I think he is using Shopify to showcase the items on his site (set up like an ecommerce store, but nothing is for sale) AND he is probably using a referral link so that if you sign up for a Shopify account through his site, he gets a bonus. So basically affiliate marketing.
posted by easternblot at 3:31 AM on November 27 [2 favorites]




(also, I say hate-love because I can‘t possibly hate-hate somone who uses Surig Essigessenz)
posted by The Toad at 7:01 AM on November 27


I hate the lie told in that quoted paragraph. The things on that page don't just have a "slightly higher price," they are wildly more expensive. I own a pair of Levi's that cost probably a third of any of the pairs selvedge denim he has. I'm actually not arguing about whether or not the fancy jeans are worth it. Maybe they last longer, maybe they look better, maybe they just better encapsulate who you are as a person. I don't have strong feelings about how people spend their "jeans money," but it's just a lie to call those jeans on slightly more expensive.

Vimes rule of boots doesn't apply to jeans, I don't think, because jeans are less sturdy than boots.
posted by OmieWise at 8:00 AM on November 27


OmieWise, not at all disputing the gist of what you‘re saying but at least for Levi‘s, you need to factor in that they‘re (or at least used to be) vastly more expensive in Germany - you‘d be looking at 100 Euro and up; so maybe the difference between that and there high-end models isn‘t that big. I remember my inlaws schlepping suitcases full of Levi‘s back from the states since they are that much cheaper there.

Hate-love is maybe too strong a word, let‘s change it to ?cringe-enjoy‘.
posted by The Toad at 8:12 AM on November 27 [1 favorite]


It's shallow/ambiguous enough that I think you can see it as an elegy to the artist's sublime taste or a denunciation of consumerism.

It's fun to browse through it. Looks like it's possible to own a couple of skateboards, 12 weekend shirts and some Monocle magazines.

For a less conceptual and more salable take on the same theme, it reminded me of this painting by Michael Zavros.
posted by haemanu at 9:15 AM on November 27


i looked at the first 6 items and i had a sneaking suspicion that he does not own a vacuum and i scrolled through the whole thing to prove myself right. and i was right.

it's not art unless he includes a vacuum and not just that flimsy mop.
posted by numaner at 9:17 AM on November 27


It seems like he's completely omitted his intangible possessions; his family, his sense of self, his family, his place in society, his credit score, his website. People are perhaps more qualified by the intangible than the easily photographed.

brb making a tumblr called "All I Care" and posting photos of my peeps, my credit score, and this awesome vacuum i just got on black friday
posted by numaner at 9:22 AM on November 27 [2 favorites]


I'd enjoy this a lot more if this artist's stuff weren't all so danged tasteful, I'm with The Toad and doornoise, it smacks of a pretty dull consumerist anxiety, which may be the point, but 'eh'.
I think it'd illuminate a lot more about the vagaries of the human condition if it were done with the possessions of one of these shell-and-knick-knack-fanciers from a recent FPP.
posted by threecheesetrees at 12:22 AM on November 28


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