Bring the museum home
Three self-confessed hoarders urge you to look at the museum that resides in the ordinary world around you
A slightly chipped pair of slippers that dug heels into every beach we've been to in three years; a decade-old "sturdy" umbrella that our mother believes will help us brave the Mumbai rains; a side-pillow we've held on to since birth. In our quest to look outwards for the extraordinary, we forget that it is the most ordinary entities that make our lives truly extraordinary. And all these ordinary things — the slippers, the umbrella, the side-pillow and more — are part of our own ever-growing museum.
One of the responses they got. Pic/Instagram
While the Museum of Ordinary Objects (MOOO), run by self-confessed hoarders Choiti Ghosh of Tram Arts Trust, Karan Talwar of Harkat Studios and Sananda Mukhopadhyaya of Extensions Arts, has been opening up this conversation wherever it travels, over the past week, it has taken up the task of pushing Instagrammers to re-imagine their homes as museums, because, well, there's nowhere else to head to right now.
As part of Ghar Ek Museum, MOOO wants you to post pictures of objects at home, along with the stories behind them as per prompts posted by the curators. "When our first museum came up, we had coined this catch-phrase, 'MOOO can show itself anywhere, anytime; it exists around you'. And when everyone went into lockdown, it became even more apt. All Ghar Ek Museum does is make you realise that you live in a museum," explains Ghosh, an object theatre practitioner.
Sananda Mukhopadhyaya from MOOO
Their first prompt was "a dear object that keeps you company through the day. It is comfortable and keeps you grounded. It is a familiar encasing of our feet. Mine are white and blue, and I invariably lose a pair once a day. What colour are yours?" While the prompt clearly pointed to slippers, interestingly, a lot of followers interpreted only the first part to post pictures of things like headphones and socks. Pictures of slippers were accompanied with captions like "she brought me home coz she loved me. But now that I am old and worn out and dirty, she said she loves me more (sic)" — a reminder that we need just a nudge to take a relook at things that surround us. "Our prompts are aimed at giving people a sense of direction. We are thinking of going room to room to explore families of similar objects and the different ideas that these provoke," says Mukhopadhyaya, a theatre artiste.
Their next prompt: objects from the kitchen. "The Internet is flooded with cooks and bakers right now," laughs Talwar, a filmmaker, adding, "The kitchen is a potent place, where intimate conversations take place. You relate to these objects you use daily, for instance, a certain glass your grandfather used, or a kadhai in which your grandmother would cook. These objects aren't celebrated enough, but they are great vessels of stories."
Talwar adds that while conversing with followers of MOOO, he realises that the simple act of being able to tell a story has been comforting for some. "When you're given a prompt, you're surrounded by stories that are your own, so you're not alone anymore. It's a holistic way of coming back to yourself."
Log on to @museumofordinaryobjects on Instagram
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