Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, and more…On Collecting
Status, intellectual, cultural, or monetary- may be conferred by the magnitude and complexity of one’s personal art collection, yet rarely do we explore the very act of collecting. In Pictures, Patents, Monkeys, and More, Ingrid Schaffner is the first to analyze the concept of collecting through artists’ own collections. In her exhibition, and the subsequent essays in this book, Schaffner questions this ubiquitous practice. What does a collection reveal about the collector? In Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut, Claire Minton is able to determine that Philip Castle is homosexual simply by reading the personally written index of his book. Can a collection truly expose so much? Featuring the Robert J. Shiffler collection, a patent model collection, and a sock monkey collection, these questions, and more, are brought to the forefront of the reader’s mind in this quirky and unconventional book. Art enables the collector, as it does all viewers, to engage life-its pleasures, pains, and paradoxes-both through and beyond individual experience. Art is a form of open-ended communication that exists as both the subject and object of interpretation (Schaffner). Schaffner, Ingrid, Pictures, Patetns, Monkeys, and More…On Collecting, Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, 2001. 72 pages. ISBN: 9780916365592. SOLD OUT Essays by Ingrid Schaffner, Fred Wilson, and Werner Muensterberger.