Inspired by Agatha Christie’s 1946 autobiographical book Come, Tell Me how you Live, this new artwork asks the same question again in 2017 exploring anew our relationship to the objects and things we buy, keep or treasure. Story in the Object explores how the personal stories behind our relationship to objects reveal how we live now, what we care about and what we want to treasure for the future.
Story in the Object is an interactive artwork, a playful cabinet of curiosities co-created with local residents and visitors that will fill up throughout the festival as people bring treasures from Torbay and beyond to add to an evolving collection. It will link objects from around the world with those gathered locally in a democratic, playful way. Objects gathered will be accompanied by stories from their owners and this interactive exhibition will bring a playful but reflective eye on our very human trait of attaching meaning to objects, how this affects the world around us, and how the story behind the object can invest it with intangibly strong values.
During the five days of the festival, Encounters invites you to add to the artwork by bringing a personal object to show that you would want to keep for the future or come and visit, meet others, share and listen to stories, and contribute to this evolving cabinet of curiosities from our age of profusion.
Story in the Object is part of the pioneering Heritage Futures Research Programme. Artist Shelley Castle and Anthropologist Dr Jennie Morgan (University of York) are collaborating under the Profusion strand within this programme. They are addressing the challenge presented by the abundance of material and digital ‘stuff’ in our world investigating how we decide what to keep in the face of mass production and consumption and what is selected for long-term keeping and why. What are the complex yet often unacknowledged motivations, emotions, and judgements that shape what makes it into the future?
You are invited to add to this evolving artwork by bringing a personal object to show that you would want to keep for the future.