William L. Hamilton, "Object Lessons: The New Museum Explores Why We Keep Things." NYT 7/14/2016.
What, then, to make of objects? In a culture being redefined by the way it consumes, what to make of people who collect things, who keep things? What to make of the personal archives, the private universes, the physical stabs at permanence and immortality that collectors create? ... Why do we keep?
“The Keeper” is an exhibition dedicated to the act of preserving objects, artworks, and images, and to the passions that inspire this undertaking. A reflection on the impulse to save both the most precious and the apparently valueless, it brings together a variety of imaginary museums, personal collections, and unusual assemblages, revealing the devotion with which artists, collectors, scholars, and hoarders have created sanctuaries for endangered images and artifacts. In surveying varied techniques of display, the exhibition also reflects on the function and responsibility of museums within multiple economies of desire.The New Museum
Collections vary in their intentionality; many of us have hundreds of plastic bags stuffed beneath the sink; thousands of casual snapshots dormant in overfull hard-drives. We look happily upon such cached keepsakes even as we consign them to oblivion, sure that someday we will be grateful that we were prepared, that we haven’t forgotten. Museums and archives bear more purposeful gatherings, charting the suppositions that we call science and the mythologies that we dub history in reliquary records and documentary artifacts. Such are the gestures of archives: holding on, making infinite, and striving beyond material mass to reach for answers to the perennial questions of how to remember and how to know.Nicole Kaack, "Adding One to Infinity: The Keeper at The New Museum." SFAQ 8/10/2016.
Truly sad I am not getting to see this exhibit in person; I've been devouring online images and the catalog is on my birthday list.