1. Stewart, Susan. “Objects of Desire.” On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection. Duke University Press, 1993, pp.132-169.
We might say that this capacity of objects to serve as traces of authentic experience is, in fact, exemplified by the souvenir (Stewart 135).
We do not need or desire souvenirs of events that are repeatable. Rather we need and desire souvenirs of events that are reportable, events whose materiality has escaped us, events that thereby exist only through the invention of narrative (Stewart 135).
The souvenir speaks to a context of origin through a language of longing, for it is not an object arising out of need or use value; it is an object arising out of the necessarily insatiable demands of nostalgia (Stewart 135).
The souvenir reduces the public, the monumental, and the three-dimensional into the miniature, that which can be enveloped by the body, or into the two-dimensional representation, that which can be appropriated within the privatized view of the individual subject (Stewart 137-138).
Such souvenirs are rarely kept singly; instead they form a compendium which is an autobiography (Stewart 139).
Scrapbooks, memory quilts, photo albums, and baby books all serve as examples.
It is significant that such souvenirs often appropriate certain aspects of the book in general; we might note especially the way in which an exterior of little material value envelops a great “interior significance,” and the way both souvenir and book transcend their particular contexts (Stewart 139).
Because of its connection to biography and its place in constituting the notion of the individual life, the momento becomes emblematic of the worth of that life and of self’s capacity to generate worthiness (Stewart 139).
Although a book may hold little significance to others, it holds great value to the possessor who spent time, money and effort creating it. This is what makes objects sentimental to individuals. Souvenirs move history into private time; once we take the souvenir, we as the individual decide what we do with it. Display it, store it or share it.
The double function of the souvenir is to authenticate a past or otherwise remote experience and, at the same time, to discredit the present (Stewart 139).
The nostalgia of the souvenir plays in the distance between the present and an imagined, prelapsarian experience, experience as it might be “directly lived.” The location of authenticity becomes whatever is distant to the present time and space; hence we can see the souvenir as attached to the antique and the exotic (Stewart 140).
Souvenirs of the mortal body are not so much a nostalgic celebration of the past as they are an erasure of the significance of history (Stewart 140).
- Tourism work
- Less common tourist items - dish towels/dust cloths
- Not intended to serve their original purpose but are fixed to the wall
- The photograph as souvenir is a logical extension of the pressed flower - the preservation of an instant in time through a reduction of physical dimensions
- The narration of the photograph will itself become an object of nostalgia
- Souvenir moves history into private time
- Storytelling and memory
- Personifying the objects in the museum
- Unlike a typical collector; to be proud of the collection he possesses (3)
- A catalogue of notional objects which represent Kemal’s love for Fusun
- Embed the objects into a narrative
- Sensities the reader to the museum’s collection (4)
- The museum of innocence is in fact not just a novel, but also a symbol of Pamuk’s passion for collecting
- ‘Accomplish the renewal of existence through the whole range of childlike modes of acquisitions from touching things to giving them names (5)
- ‘Tempered mode of sexual perversion’
- Collecting objects because they make us remember our good moments
- ‘For a true collector the whole background of an item adds up to a magic encyclopedia whose quintessence is the fate of his object
- The Museum of Innocence should not be considered as an architectural adaptation of the story. (6)
- Pamuk wants the objects to represent the story in their own way. If you take these everyday objects at the practical level, the visitor to the museum will be disappointed (6)
- The Museum of Innocence is a project that arises not only from Kemal’s commitment to Füsun and his collection of objects, but also from Pamuk’s commitment to his novel. Pamuk, in an interview, calls himself a ‘museum person’ and it seems that there is a lot of Kemal in Pamuk
- Wunderkammer - cabinet of curiosities
- The Museum of Innocence exemplifies how invented worlds can orient and organise our lives. If we visit Istanbul and go to the Museum of Innocence on a Saturday afternoon to see the objects that ‘Kemal’ collected over the years, we realise how Pamuk is tied to Kemal’s actions and emotions (7)
3. Anthropologist James Clifford offers a critique of a 1984 show at the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA), called ’“Primitivism’ in 20th Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern.”
- One could encounter tribal objects in a number of locations
- MOMA - Primitivism, 20th century art; Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern
- Ethnographic specimens
- Modernism is thus presented as a search for “informing principles” that transcend culture, politics, and history
- Modernist primitivism, with its claims to deeper humanist sympathies and a wider aesthetic sense, goes hand-in-hand with a developed market in tribal art and with definitions of artistic and cultural authenticity that are now widely contested (8)
- “We are offered treasures saved from a destructive history, relics of a vanishing world” (9)
- In terms of the aesthetic code. Art is art in any museum (12)
- Achebe’s image of a “ruin” suggests not the modernist allegory of redemption (a yearning to make things whole, to think archaeologically) (12)
- The Maori have allowed their tradition to be exploited as “art” by Western cultural institutions and their corporate sponsors in order to enhance their own international prestige and thus contribute to their current resurgence in New Zealand society (13-14)
- They were quickly integrated, recognised as masterpieces, given homes within an anthropological-aesthetic object system (15)
- That question the boundaries of art and the art world, an influx of truly indigestible “outside” artifacts (15)