INTRODUCTION: Catalogue of Precious Things
Long ago I set out to draw up a kind of catalogue of all the things I make, collect or keep. A register of objects which mean something to me.Things that seem random and unimportant at first sight, yet at the same time form their own universe.
I am far from being finished, I wrote on my website fifteen years ago. I have only just begun.
For my film Keeping & Saving, or How to Live I had another look at various boxes, cabinets, chests and suitcases. Some of the things I found in them I had completely forgotten about. I filmed or photographed hundreds of objects. You could say that I am making steady progress with my catalogue of precious things, in the certainty that I will never finish it, that is has no end.
In the film I reach the conclusion that ultimately it is about the tangibility of objects. Touching material things evokes something which would otherwise remain hidden. Fragments of memories, a flash of emotion. But could people lose this ability in the digital era? And if tangibility is important, then cataloguing precious things – digitalizing those things – is twice as meaningless. Somehow I find this thought comforting.