Saturday, August 07, 2010

Lost & Found Department

A couple of most visit-worthy websites have popped-up on the radar of late, the first in particular by virtue of the occurrence of a most serendipitous moment.

Whilst indulging in what was quite a rare moment of late-night channel-hopping, I chanced upon the movie 'In Search of a Midnight Kiss': although a recent production, its black & white aesthetic arrested the attention enough to pause a while, during which time the narrative progressed to a point where the female character of the featured on-screen perambulating couple had her attention arrested by the finding of a single abandoned shoe, which object she proceeded to photograph, at the same time informing her male companion that she posted such images on her very own website, appropriately named ''.
Although the film was soon to prove itself otherwise unengaging enough to warrant much further viewing, alas, still this incident remained in the memory - as well it might, given subject matter having a certain affinity with concerns & happenings here at TOoT, of course - & further research was carried out as soon as appropriate thereafter, resulting in the finding of a website bearing the very same name, The Lost Shoe Project.

There seems to have been a little debate generated amongst some of those similarly intrigued as to whether this particular internet resource bears any relation to the movie ('factual' opinion & cited evidence most likely confirming an affirmation of such), but nonetheless, the website features a selection of engaging images of single, abandoned found objects of a footwear nature, of a variety of types, many of which have been beautifully, most aesthetically photographed - one assumes more or less as discovered, encountered - upon roadsides, in the gutters, on verges, adjacent to roads & their familiar surfaces, very much in the manner of the those examples of discarded aluminium can 'roadkill' as frequently appear photographically here on TOoT.

There's a sense that, particularly if it owes its existence to some form of movie tie-in, & as evidenced by the mere 20-odd images in its gallery, 'The Lost Shoe Project' website is frozen in its specific time, its development arrested & forever in abeyance, which seems a great shame given the scope such subject/object matter offers, but still it remains of some interest, not least 'affinitively', both visually & conceptually.
Shoes obviously seem more intriguing when found abandoned, particularly singly & missing the counterpart, that other, that comprises their pair, given the comparitive scarcity of such discoveries, & more poignant too, considering their human dimension, than do ubiquitous examples of the discarded packaging of consumables, but still one might claim some form of kinship.

Such thoughts of abandoned shoes, or at least images of, cause me return to another theme that, having recentlyish been found at The Affected Provincial's delightfully whimsical online journal (& more particularly this entry), has continued to percolate slowly.
Having last summer invested-in, enjoyed & subsequently written on the subject of Guy Maddin's idiosyncratic movie 'The Saddest Music in the World', my curiosity was thus, of course, instantly aroused by the concept of 'The Saddest Object in the World', as proposed by Evan Michelson.

Now, given a found shoe's potential capacity to inspire a 'Proustian involuntary memory', of some significant profundity, perhaps, & also to come under aesthetic consideration for the purposes of critique, such an object might indeed aspire to the condition of being the saddest of its kind, one might say.
The 'roadkill' cans, alas, for all their abandoned status, accident-prone nature & abject appearance, seem unlikely - even to one such as yours truly, having established an intense, prolonged working relationship with the genre & the individual instances of - to ever belong to such a rarified category: their purpose is purely functional, they do not inspire an emotional response, even if they might be considered aesthetic objects.
So what then might be 'the saddest object in the world'..?

But, we digress...the second intriguing website to which I was alerted (by, for the nth occasion, Mr Reynolds' wonderful blissblog) happened to be (again, one might see the rather obvious attraction to an inveterate & indeed incorrigible finder of objects) none other than
Found Objects, which subtitularly claims for itself to be a 'hauntological dumping ground', as indeed appears very much the case: all manner of visual material of various vintages that might stir a memory or two of the personal & communal cultural past is constantly being updated in great & fascinating profusion. A subject very much to become lost in (thoughts of), as occurs often: when, for instance, one might consider the hauntological implications of the tagline of the 'Yesterday' TV channel - 'where the past is always present', which could have certain spooky connotations amongst other things, as one is enjoyably reminded of aspects of one's own televisual past &/or gently educated in aspects of the general socio-culture.

On the general subject of hauntology, one might appropriate such a phrase & concept as 'where the past is always present' into the process of making art, where any piece of work, or indeed every mark, might be loaded with reference to or evoke spectres from the history of: some of us could reasonably be charged with rather enjoying & indeed encouraging such...

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