Saturday, October 3, 2009
Historical Society: Exhibit Number 1018
I've had the idea for a photographic series exploring the various permutations of every day objects, both vintage and more modern, for a while now, and have finally begun it. My inspiration for this series is a short story by Steven Millhauser called "Here at the Historical Society."
The story is about a small town's historical society that begins collecting items from around their town in the interest of preserving a full record of the present--because they view the present as being the recent past, and therefore the only past most of us will ever know and be able to capture fully. They go so far as to refer to the present as "the New Past."
As they say...
"We can only make guesses about that other past, which stretches back through a few blurry centuries to the black beginnings of the world. But the New Past gives us hope. It stands before us in a nearly unfaded richness. It tempts us with the promise of total precision. Yet even as we record it, even as we reach out to touch it, we see it dissolving before our eyes, revealing a piece of the next past that has already replaced it. "
--Steven Millhauser, from "Here at the Historical Society"