Drawing & Painting
Film & Animation
Strength in Numbers
Matt's Cool Things 5 - The End..
9 - 16 February, at
Utrophia Project Space: The High Street
Final week ever of my pop-up shop, with everything half price, even previously reduced items.
In September 2012, I started the first 'Matt's Cool Things', a week-long pop-up shop selling a large percentage of my possessions, things I once considered to be important and useful objects in my life, many of which I've carried for 10, 20, 30 years or more. This was followed by a second week-long run in November, a two-week stint in December and a fourth which spanned most of January.
I wanted to present them in the shop format to frame them as prized objects, because that's what they were to me. I took many bags of things to the charity shop that didn't, in my my mind, make the grade; things I didn't have an emotional attachment to, or place value in, only things that did were allowed into the shop.
While it's true that I've made some money from it, it's the interactions with people that has made the shop such a joyful and worthwhile experience for both me and others. The objects so often conjured childhood memories in people who came in, and whether they bought something or not, I've been told countless times what a memory-provoking and enjoyable experience visiting the shop has been. Sometimes I gave things away for free because I could see an attachment forming between a person and an object, often based on a triggered memory.
The shop has sparked countless discussions on the nature of possessions, their ability to comfort and/or dominate, the concept of collecting and its meaning and use. People are also often interested in the history of these objects, which you can't obtain when buying something from a vintage shop, the junk market or similar. I felt that sharing memories of the objects helped create a greater 'importance' to the new owners, and that the warmth of feeling was transferred to them.
I took photographs of any customer that would let me, holding the things that they'd bought, and created an archive of photos that each night after closing, were posted on the facebook event pages, allowing further sharing of the experience; people were tagging each other and discussing objects. I've been considering what to do with these photographs once the project is over, whether it be a short-run book or just a tumblr for the project.
The shop was talked about on LBC internet radio, the transpontine blog and the Evening Standard website.
It's been an amazing experience in a number of ways, and I feel the lion's share of my objects have gone to people who will appreciate them in a way they weren't while I had them all packed up in boxes. All-tolled, several hundred comic books and records, vintage toys and sports gear, t-shirts and tops, my great uncle's tools, games, 80s badges and keyrings, books, CDs, Videos and DVDs, artwork, hi-fi and electrical gear, instruments and other objects have found new homes.
I hoped that by selling these objects, they would be valued again, and back in circulation, hopefully to be passed on again once finished with. Because reusing is the cleanest form of recycling, and surely far better than being either stored away, unused, unseen in boxes or buried in the ground. While objects and possessions are far far from the most important things in our lives, they do trigger memories and feelings, often provide joy and comfort and they're an unavoidable part of our lives. I wanted mine to find good homes, where they might live again.
No comments have been posted on this yet.
Matt Rigsby Smith
Long-time Utrophian and securer of third Utrophia project space.
Utrophia Project Space: The High Street
120-122 High Street, Deptford, London, SE8 4NS
A brand new vessel of exploration, boom whack bosh in the heart of Deptford High Street
Sorry, but there were some problems with the following links: