Herr der Dinge / Masters of Things

From 2019 to 2021 I have sought intensive contact with people who collects curious things. Those whose motif at first glance may seem a bit bizarre or enraptured. In doing so, I deliberately focused on the collected objects, because if you look through the eyes of the collector, with his innocence on the images, what was just declared nonsensical, strange, worthless, even disgusting or foolish, suddenly becomes clear, familiar, beautiful and fascinating. The motivations and stories behind the collection drove me to photograph this work. Driven by a hair fetish, Regine von Chossy from Munich collects hair, for example, and exhibits it in her own hair museum with dated and signed hair donations. The photographer Karl-Ludwig Lange collects bricks because the stamps on them give him information about the local history of his surroundings, and the taxidermist Navena Widulin from Berlin collects gallstones, continuing a tradition of the Berlin Medical History Museum of the Charite.

Collecting is as old as mankind itself; it would not have survived without collecting. Objects have always been selected and accumulated, whether for use or mere contemplation, and information has always been collected, for exchange and as a basis for forthcoming decisions. But it is in an age where information is gathered to increase capital that I would like to turn, in a departure from this trend, to those collections that seek to represent the supposedly useless. Due to the enigmatic nature of his intention, the collector becomes as much an object as his treasures, the object of our perception, of our wonder. It seems as if the objects of the collection had come together under the gaze of their master himself, as if they were the subjects. One might think that they, the sick matches not suitable for making fire, had themselves appealed to the collector’s compassion, or that the gallstones had deliberately sparkled and radiated in such a way as to cause that age-old essential passion of man to flare up in his spirit: the desire to possess, and even more, to collect.

2019–2021

Book with 144 pages, Softcover
Artist Edition of 100
118 pictures
220 x 325 cm
Selfpublished
Design by Miriam Waszelewski & Maj Mlakar www.mosk.co
40 €