(Im)memorabilia: Ephemerality, Resonance and the Collector’s Item

Ephemera are not collectibles by default.  Not every object becomes prized by virtue of being old.  Someone has to deem it worthy of appreciation, of being cared for and looked after.  This does not always happen.  Much of our cultural past can be had for next to nothing.  Left unclaimed, it is denied the potential to matter.

Academically, attempts to justify the display of collections like this one are often founded on claims of their historical significance or renewed relevance.  I chose the word ‘resonance’ to suggest a less tangible, more personal meaningfulness of objects that are invested with a collector’s passion and self-conscious longing.

(Im)memorabilia draws on my own hoard of cinema and radio related artefacts from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.  Few of them, shared here publicly for the first time, are of appreciable exchange value. Gradually, I have come to realise their significance as manifestations of my own marginality, my sense of otherness.  Since I received many of these seemingly trivial, mass-produced objects as gifts, they are both extensions of myself and expressions of fellowship.  It is a web of associations I sought to widen by calling on others to share their thoughts on the collector’s items displayed here.

Ultimately, (Im)memorabilia bespeaks a desire to come out and say: this is all I am.  The trace I leave behind is compounded of little more than a few words and a small heap of paper.

Trivia is knowledge we refuse the potential to matter.

Memorabilia is matter we grant the capacity to mean differently.

Click on any of the images below for images of ephemera and memorabilia in my collection or

proceed to the next display to commence a virtual tour of the exhibition.