14 April 2018 - 2 September 2018
Museum de Domijnen Hedendaagse Kunst, Sittard, NL
Are your closets filled to the brim? Did your computer fail or did you lose your mobile phone? In these moments, you become aware of the power of things.
Object Love questions the intimate relations between humans and things. Things are everywhere. Our bodies are on, under, and between them. They are an extension of our bodies and enhance our abilities. We are physically and emotionally connected with things. We touch them, cherish them, and hate them.
In 1992, as a token of her love for things, Yvonne Dröge Wendel married a dresser from the brand Wendel. ‘We share our lives with things. We spend more time with them than with people. Without things we can’t survive.’
It all began with an ape that used a stick to get its banana. Tools help us to survive, and the stick was followed by stone axes, pottery, swords and ploughshares, clothing, houses, cars, computers, networks, and robots. Humans design tools to be able to survive better. Nowadays, most of us live in a man-made, technological environment, which determines our behaviour.
Over time, our relationship with things has changed. Through the development of technology and the consumer society, the number of things has exploded. Objects were invented to help us survive, but now we have to meet their demands. The things we have created ourselves threaten to outwit us.
‘We are living in a material world,’ sings Madonna. The average European possesses 10,000 things. We have seen the development of phenomena such as ‘hoarding’ and ‘minimalism’ as a response to this. We always want more; we are never satisfied. But this craving for more exhausts the earth and can become our downfall.
Artists respond to these developments. In staged photographs, sculptures, andvideos, you often see bodies that have a comfortable or uncomfortable relation with everyday objects. You may even see installations with objects that have a critic al undertone or objects that have been transformed and which call for change.
Melanie Bonajo believes things are a burden, as displayed in the ‘Furniture Bondage’ of a young woman who is stuck between a mop, ironing board, and two kitchen stairs. ‘I was always preserving my stuff, bringing it from A to B and back again. It made me feel that I belonged more to my things, that they belonged to me. How much time did it cost to maintain all the things I owned?’