This blog will comprise a collection of ephemera, mess and miscellaneous artifacts reflecting on the writer's life.

Monday, October 24, 2005

New stuff

After lost objects and found objects the trail moves on to new stuff. Alexandra Shulman (one of my fave people) wrote in this Saturday's telegraph about how she tried to give up shopping for one month.She actully found it quite hard and worried,
I was worried by the slight aura of pointlessness suffusing each successive day...
she then relapses and buys loads of clothes...after which she says
I felt sick and guilty
She concludes that she does actully need to shop although not as much.
This is a good article, and was also accompanied by this article about the dangers of shopping too much.
Now I love new stuff and I love shopping. In this I am not alone.
I do know that Dr Joolz likes to buy stuff from here and Jennifer my lovely New Jersey friend likes to buy things from here while daughter no 1 likes to buy things from here.
I meanwhile have recently bought 2 skirts, one from here and one from an impossibly cool shop near Sadlers Wells where I also bought a blue trench coat on the invaluable advice of Simply Clare.
Well this was THE RIGHT THING TO DO as later, faced with a dire emergency my coat gave me Strength and in a very Hospital Nurse (the coat is a bit official) fashion I was able to respond (as was Dr Joolz) with Nerves of Steel.
So clothes really do make a difference, and they are artifacts of identity.
This is the theme of the article that Jennifer and I are writing together and it is very hard.
I am trying to draw on an article I wrote for this journal on the relationship between narrative and artifacts.
I think that despite Dr Rob's anti fashion comments,that there is a very important relationship between identity and clothes, as evidenced by this marvellous book here that Dr Joolz got me.
This is all very good and you are all agreeing with me.
ALso, up till now you realise these purchases are essential and important.
BUT I have a new and terrible thing that has happened in my life.
Owing to my marvellous new research project which is in Barnsley, a new Danger has emerged.
It is this shop.
I have fallen in love.
But I now do actually have an overdraft.I cannot buy any more new stuff.
What do I do?


Simply Clare said...

Hello Kate
So glad that you purchased the coat and also have a blog. I will be adding you to my list very shortly. Have loved reading your entries today - and am going to think about lost things. I often lose my confidence - but noone seems to notice (or are too polite to mention it) and it comes back with vigour anyway. I also lost a Miss Saigon CD once... hmmm. BUT I do love a poem about losing: it goes something like this - "The art of losing isn't hard to master... " by Elizabeth someone. I am going to find it now..... and post it on my blog for you.

Kate said...

Hurrah!I have got you onto my blog and also I hope you are not too tired from hill-walking or is it hill running.

Joolz said...

WE are all meeting in this new space. Thanks Kate for the shopping post which is very inspired. We all have different types of desire shown in the different shopping places. What can this mean?
I am looking forward to hearing more about your chapter.
I Love the way photographs can have a transformative or intensifying effect on artifacts.

Mary Plain said...

I am getting worried as since I was ill a couple ofweeks ago I cannot raise any enthusiasm for shopping. DrKate, is there a cure?
Yours, an anxious bear

Kate said...

I think you should be pleased.
Are you not on a detox?
See this is a very good space and enjoy your new found love of free things eg nice weather, skies, flowers etc.
Please do not shop!

Dr. Rob said...

Oh No I am not anti fashion, just anti my wife buying a new blooming coat when the other one was hardly worn, so really although I harped on at Simply Clare for having a coat for 170 years I quite admire that.

And with my professional head on, of course clothes are an important part of identity, why else would the Cornish need to create a Cornish Tartan, the Scottish invent them and the chavs go around shoplifting Burberry!

david gilbert said...

Hello Kate
Well worth a visit. I wonder what you think of Walter Benjamin's thoughts on photography's influence on the status of the work of art (1936, full text at The elimination of distance is an interesting idea; that by photographic reproduction all things - whether they are places, objects, people - become the same category of object, and that as a result the 'aura' of the original is lost.
The other interesting thing is Baudrillard and hyper-reality (see 'Simulacra and Simulation'). I read a really good story from the fantastic American architect Peter Eisenman ( taking his son to a baseball game. The batter hits a home run and starts to run round, and as he does so everyone in the stadium is watching him on the giant screens - which employ filmic vocabulary and pan, zoom and switch from one viewpoint to another - and nobody is looking at the actual event. Even the batter is watching himself on the screens. The hyperreal is better than the reality, perhaps even more real.

david gilbert said...

I realised I neglected to make any comments on shopping! I am not sure whether I should congratulate or castigate myself for introducing you to Barnsley and a new shop full of desirable objects.

I have to say I find it really quite hard to shop - especially in shoppign centres like Meadowhall. It is such a manipulative environment - do you know that the site was made perfectly flat before they started building but they then put in artificial inclines upstairs and down. Apparently this means that different muscle groups in the leg are used depending on the direction of the incline, so that shoppers can carry on shopping for longer before becoming exhausted!

Kate said...

David you have jsut given me so many ideas for postings - thank you.
The really bad news is this.
I have bought a jacket from Pollyanna by someone called Paul Harnden.
He is a recluse and lives in Brighton and only shows to three people in dust filled studios in Paris.
His stuff is unbelievable and hand made and I now am more broke than I have ever been in my life but this is, I think Art.