Saturday, February 4, 2012

Rabbit's Foot

Why and how do objects hold memory for us? I remembered when I was kid that I had a rabbit's foot. With this memory I realized how awful it is to have an animal part for good luck - although the rabbit's foot may not have been real. I remember running my hands over the form and feeling the nails. I think my memory was jogged by scratching Buttercup (the dog) and then playing with her feet. Anyway, my interest in why we make and keep objects has been propelled since I started teaching visual culture. I also noticed that when I go to museum's I am taking a lot of images of objects for good luck, afterlife, etc... Egypt, 19th century sailors decorating carved whale bones for their loved one to insert in their corset.

Victorian silver mounted rabbit's foot charm.  

The sense of touch, sense of space. The small objects I make are all about the sense of touch. I am interested in how we have always made objects to label us and remind us. Touching these objects equally important as seeing them. Diane Ackerman's book, A Natural History of the Senses is discusses all the senses. Also, Maya Lin's Vietnam Memorial is important here - she gave us a monument to touch. I am more interested in the smaller, intimate objects of a culture - the objects we stow away, we hide, we keep near us, we wear on our body. The objects we assign meaning to.

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