It could be word association. Or I just like the title of Tim O’Brien’s book, “The Things They Carried” because it reminds me of the clutter jammed deep in my backpack. I can live without the novel’s guns, violence, grief, and . . . oh yes – war – but, to be truthful, I didn’t even read his tale with the catchy title that sat on my shelf for as long as I had a shelf. But I’m going to assume that it has much to do with travel and human attachment – to things.
And there’s the rub.
I have flown over the Pacific (interminable) and the Atlantic (a hop) a few times this year and there are basically only two things that eventually get to me.
The waiting. And. The packing. (Oh yes, and let’s not forget – the free two-inch-square packet of pretzels that they insist on waking you for at 6 am.)
Nonetheless, whenever I head eastward over the Atlantic and land in London, my attention immediately shifts to visiting the endless number of art galleries, museums, urban art, graffiti, along with the splashes of life on the street. The wear on my Oyster Card, camera and cellphone are all to be expected. But it is the accumulated weight of the art-related announcements, invitations, flyers and cards that I collect that demands to be dealt with.
With luggage weight maximums shrinking, all that coveted print material, from the ‘Jealous’ print magazines, the Lisson Gallery’s incredibly well-written artist bios, the high-quality publications from the heart-stoppingly expensive galleries on New Bond Street and Mayfair, to the print-outs from the White Cube, the Gagosians, VictoriaMiro, Saatchi and the Zabludowicz Collection, and not forgetting the mangled art pages ripped out of “London Time Out” magazine – they have all got to go!
Maybe I can deal with that.
But it is those surprising few business cards that suddenly popped up that proved most intractable. Given by talented people that I have met along the way – Mr Cenz, Tim Fowler, Carne Griffiths and Liz Kori, they managed to secret themselves between foreign currencies, credit cards and my passport.
Defiant little objects that insist on jolting memory, their images demand attention and… to be carried. So. You have been carried… through London to Montreal, over Utah to LA and now – Oahu.
Now that you are digitized at last, how about we swing by the Cedar Street Galleries and I finally drop all of you off in Honolulu? …Before I sink under the weight of my own self-indulgence.
(Featured Image: Carne Griffiths)