One of the things that advertising does is cause
envy. this envy causes many to buy the stuff
that is wagged in front of their faces, or
something cheaper to compensate.
Advertisers hope that this will happen
automatically, with no conscious thought.
If you concur, check the Adbusters website.
This is how they keep us in debt and wanting
more. In these times, though, such behaviour
can be suicidal, at least as far as our financial
security and pensions are concerned.
If I didn't have so much stuff, I wouldn't need
a locked house to protect my stuff. -George Carlin
This is why I hate the accumulation of stuff,
or the equation of a person with his/her stuff.
When somebody dies, do their possessions
become dispossessed? If you believe in
ghosts, maybe they become possessed,
albeit in a different way. There's even a
ghost-buster for stuff, on a small US channel.
The following story is understandable, though.
A photographer lost her husband and as a
way of mourning, she photographed his stuff.
The thing I have a problem with is the man
is lost in all this stuff. It is superficial to
look at a person through their stuff.
I didn't include pictures because I don't
think it was fair to the stiff. BTW, apparently,
he wasn't a consumer and actually fixed
problems with his clothes rather than chucking
‘The leftover scraps of ordinary life’ – a photographer documents her late husband’s belongings
When Carol Hudson’s husband died suddenly, she took photographs of his possessions. The result is a moving portrait of him
Carol Hudson: 'I always photograph. That is how I get through things.’
Saturday 21 November 2015 06.30 GMT
Six years ago, just before her 47th wedding anniversary, Carol Hudson’s husband, Tony died unexpectedly. Left behind, occupying half their home, was a lifetime of stuff, “the leftover scraps of ordinary life,” she says.
Working out what to do with it – not valuables, heirlooms or personal bequests, but everyday life-worn objects and clothing – was, she says, a vital part of coming to terms with his death. “There seemed to be clear rituals associated with a body, but not with possessions. What was I supposed to do with them? What did they mean to me? Rationally, I knew he wasn’t coming back but, emotionally, keeping his things suggested he might.”
A photographer for more than 30 years, Carol’s instinctive reaction was to take up her camera. Systematically, she set about photographing the belongings, from piles of jumpers and drawers full of socks to a patched up bike chain, scratched spectacles and a body-moulded leather bag.
It began as a project with no clear purpose – “I always photograph, that is how I get through things” – but the resulting collection of images has now become the subject of a website, The Power of Possessions. Carol hopes it will encourage others to think about the emotional value of what we and our loved ones leave behind.
With the owner gone, possessions are effectively dispossessed. “They seem to float in space, as if they were all attracted by the person, the magnet in the middle that is gone,” says Carol. Yet by making images, then putting a series of them together, she realised she could create a vivid portrait of her husband. “Belongings, the signs of their use, say something about a person. Put together, a series of images can tell the narrative of a life.”
In a pile of jumpers, she recognised another of her husband’s idiosyncrasies. “The cuffs were all turned up. He always found the sleeves too long.”
Everything was neatly sorted and stored. Handkerchiefs were folded and separated by colour, socks and belts carefully rolled. Books were marked with the date he had finished reading them. “He was tidy and organised, meticulous,” says Carol. “He had a lot of things. He didn’t dispose of them, he repaired them – a bodge job, usually – he wasn’t bothered about new and fancy possessions.”