Ephemera

Creating a fictitious exhibition catalog of objects from my childhood.


BACKGROUND

I recently stumbled on an old box of childhood belongings, packed away carefully in a closet at my parents' house. Curated near the end of childhood by my high school self, the objects were favored survivors of a purge that had sent many other childish things to Goodwill or the garbage. The discovery now filled me with a warm sadness.

It also triggered a familiar sentimental panic (one I have known since I first grasped the passage of time, circa New Year's Eve 1997). Some day, would these objects deteriorate with age? Would their meaning dissolve into oblivion? It made me sad, too, to think of their obsolescence—even now, I had no real use for them. And yet I feared their loss profoundly.

Around the same time, I visited the Museum of Jurassic Technology, a place I admit I did not particularly enjoy. Somehow, though, its nostalgic despair inspired me, and I came up with the idea to write, photograph, and design this project—an exhibition catalog featuring significant objects from my childhood. 

My impulse was to preserve, of course, but also to create. Was there a way, I wondered, to capture the meaning of these material objects, perhaps by converting them into something new and immaterial—thereby, in some ways, safeguarding them from loss?


DEFINE THE QUESTION

How can I transform my personal nostalgia into something permanent that others can access?


FINAL DESIGN

All content for this project, including photography and catalog text, was created by me.