“What would you take with you if your house was burning?” “The fire”, replied Cocteau
After moving for the eleventh time, Barbara Iweins, photographer and artist from Brussels, started a singular work of introspection: photographing one by one the 12,795 objects of her house, indexing and classifying them by color, material, frequency of use...
Through this zany inventory, she summons the memorial power of objects and invites us to share in a fascinating collective and personal memory.
A trench coat that recalls a funny event in a sad hospital, a mug that evokes a brotherly dislike, a child's toy that personifies the memory of an unloved dog, iPhone shells that reveal the tricks of a teenager, or a crumbling hot water bottle that
preserves the pain of a separation...
Iweins did not only photograph 12,795 objects, she also analyzed them. Using the performance of an Excel spreadsheet, she has established statistics on this shapeless mass, giving the story an absurd and irresistible logic with short sentences in the caption of some plates. Some succulent examples: "90% of gloves are lost within two weeks of purchase", "The amount spent on all the objects in the house is estimated at 121,046 €", "37% of the Playmobil in the house are bald" or "I have the weakness to believe that I am the only person in the world who knows that the dominant color in her house is blue (16%)".
From her neurotic collector's tropism intertwined with an irrepressible need to put order in an intimate chaos, as she confesses, Barbara Iweins has created a monumental project as much in its form as in its outcome. Behind the lightness tinged with self-mockery of the Katalog project, a work of visual anthropology
of our contemporary society takes shape.