Whether you are a philatelist, deltiologist or a philumenist, there is a secret thrill about accumulating stamps, postcards or matchboxes that the rest of the world may not quite get. But, you don't have to be a passionate hobbyist to understand what this means; remember that scarf you wouldn't let your sister borrow? Or that zippo you couldn't throw away?
Paying homage to such objects of the everyday, a new museum will pop-up next weekend at Versova. Presented by Tram Arts Trust and Extensions Arts at Harkat Studios, the museum is asking folks to submit an object, any object. Yes, you heard that right. "It can be super-precious, like a carved ivory box, or a banal one, such as a ladle. It can be pretty much anything that people have lived with for years, or just something that they find interesting," says Choiti Ghosh, a former puppeteer who is now creative director at Tram Arts Trust.
The crowdsourced experiment, which will stay just for the weekend, is a reaction to what we usually think museums are all about — historical, cultural and political. In this case, the personal and the individual take centrestage.
Pair of spectacles: "My best friend gifted this to me on my birthday. I had read ‘My Experiments With Truth'. I lost them."
"We are calling it a museum, rather than an exhibition, because we wanted to give it a largeness and a greater context," says Sananda Mukhopadhyaya, founder of Extensions Arts. Ghosh adds, "The Museum of Ordinary Objects is a reaction to the times and society that we live in, where the importance is on the special and the premium. We want to focus on the mundane and the everyday."
This week, in the first phase of the temporary museum, you can submit an object, along with a note. The hosts would like you to barter objects with others at the museum, but it's a choice you can make. What if a mirror used by someone else resonates with you? However, what the Museum really hopes visitors do is pay attention to the objects — their form and design, and the stories behind them.
Lighter: "We shared a light. Now a home."
"We are curating the museum as a solo-time experience, and visitors can stroll around the objects, and even outdoors," says Ghosh, whose interest in objects extends to Tram Arts Trust's plays as well.
Mukhopadhyaya, who is trained in museum studies, adds that despite Bill Bryson's 2010 work At Home: A Short History of Private Life, the interest in objects is quite niche, and not a trend. If this collection of objects appeals to you, then check out (virtually, if not fly over) the new Museum of Broken Relationships, in Los Angeles, another tribute to the stories we carry within us.
Where: Harkat Studios, Bungalow 75, Aram Nagar, JP Road, Versova
When: April 16 – 17, 10 AM – 9 PM