The Infinite Hallway

I have an Infinite Hallway. It doesn't keep expanding like the one from House of Leaves but it seems never ending. The stretch from the kitchen to garage is packed with suitcases and boxes filled with my mom's clothes. At some point she must have said "to hell with closets!" I cleared the hallway once in '03, only for her to fill it again a few months later.

Four closets were not enough so the house became her walk-in. For years I tried to live far enough away so I could lead a life not amongst clothes. The clothes had such weight. Just hanging, lifting, and dragging them from room to room was exhausting. In bundles they felt like bodies, limp and heavy. The precarious mountains of sweaters could avalanche at any time. We could never move because of the them. 

I've been trying to clear out the hallway this week because I'm sick of explaining to people why it's filled with clothes. I really wish I had an explanation. The only thing I can say is it's not my hallway, just like it's not my garage. I just got it one day.  

How They Met

My mom was a certainly looker which is how she got dad, whom she met at the Jaguar dealership. She was working the desk and he thought he was looking for a car. She told me that they had once met years before on the train. But his high school wasn't as good as hers, so she turned him down. It turned out ok in the end though. 


Hose and Animals

At my house plastic bags always carry surprises. My mom would store everything from family photos to crumpled toilet paper in them so it's important to go through every bag. She didn't have a hierarchy of storage where you'd logically put valuable objects in seemingly more valuable containers such as safes and jewelry boxes. It probably wasn't to trick thieves but just the organization "tools" she had at hand and didn't have to spend money on.

Today in addition to finding a few heavy bags of money (including quarter rolls) which is common in the Garage, I found a bundle of Taiwanese pantyhose and a bag of cheap Vegas-quality stuffed animals. They're the kind that are are florescent colored and too hard to hold. Both hose and animals were the same box. It seemed like the universe was telling me to do something with them. Installation? Slingshot? Emily suggested I donate the pantyhose to help clean up the oil spills. My god, that's a great ideal because it's probably the fifth bag of hose I've found!

Someone suggested that bank robbers could use the hose too. Especially ones like this.


The Stamp Collector

The collector in his native country.  


I see Taiwan, I see France

I'm tired of traveling. I'm just going to listen to some Bibio and go around the world through my dad's stamps.

Some faves are the Warholian Chiang Kai-Shek collage and Grace Kelly. 

I found a book bag of my dad's stamp albums in the Garage. Philately must have been popular in Taiwan, enough to warrant a five story museum in Taipei (I've been). 

The stamps are meticulously organized. Doubles are stacked on top of each other and they're divided into sections with the country name written on tabs. They're written shaky kid scrawl. An inscription inside one of the albums says "Happy Birthday,  July 1959." Dad was a young tween when he collected these. 

More Chinese people and their stuff

Wandering the 798 district in Beijing last month I came across a set of photos of people with their belongings laid out neatly in front of their homes. Beijing-based Ma Hongjie's photos were statements about how we are what we have, not in the consumptive materialistic way but in that they give a sense of what it's like to be us. I'm terrified that if I laid out everything in the Garage I'd create a carpet of novelty sweaters and 80's power blazers.

The photos evoked Song Dong's massive installation of his mother's belongings. I have come to the conclusion that Chinese people feel really connected to their stuff.

Ma Hongjie's series will be collected into a book of 50 photographs in 2011.

Via Junk Culture.


Trying to look all profesh

Everything looks big in the light tent. The gold necklace (see it on Merlin) looks like a mega-yellow brick road I wish I had in my house. Are these an improvement over taking photos of objects on my scratched up desk, or did you like this lo-fi? 
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