The meaning of stuff

I’ve recently been in a state of flux, hence my absence from the blogosphere. I moved out of my home in Cardiff at the beginning of September, was staying temporarily with friends and have only just moved into my new house in Bristol. Although I know that moving is always stressful business, I’d underestimated the extent to which living without roots would affect me (ironic, give my theoretical interest in rhizomes and nomadism). I missed my stuff; I missed my space; I mourned my having a home. And when I was sorting out my studio – where most of my possessions were between addresses – I was slightly bewildered by just how much stuff I have. A lot of it is junk: stuff that I’ve not, so won’t, throw away. But a lot of it (perhaps at the same time) is important stuff. I’ve got boxes of photos (remember photos? in glossy envelopes with the negatives enclosed?) and VHS tapes of performances, but more interesting for me are the objects and notebooks, fetishised (which I mean in the anthropological sense) relics of times and actions passed. And I wonder if these things carry with them energies and memories, are more than just mnemonic triggers. I was at an exhibition ‘Divergence: n50.26 w03.41’ at the Star and Doves in Bristol a few days ago and saw a wonderful piece about stone-carrying, of ritual practices involving the carrying of stones which become imbued with intent. I was also at the opening on Friday of André Stitt’s new show at Spacex in Exeter, an exhibition of scores, drawings, and hundreds of objects from performances of his over the last 30 years. Not only are many of them beautiful, fascinating or compelling objects in their own right, one just gets a sense of energy and power from the actions in which they were involved and the subjects they relate to.

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