fantasy goods

by uzwi

Further to the unfantastic, there’s this–

Does the object exist? Did it ever? Is something lost, or thrown away or was its possession only a dream? Was materialism itself only a dream of a materiality that existed and was known? Are we now after-materiality, in the virtual, in the almost, but not quite, material, as we ‘question the very material existence of the object within Late Capitalism’? Are we left only with lost property – and does that mean we still have something or nothing, or virtually nothing.

In his collection of fragments called One Way Street, Walter Benjamin titles one section ‘Lost Property Office’ (Fundbüro). One Way Street takes all its section headings from the banal poetry of the cityscape and its object world – other examples include ‘Fancy Goods’ ‘Coiffeur For Fastidious Ladies’ and ‘Halt For Not More Than Three Cabs’. The fragment ‘Lost Property’ divides into two sections, articles lost, and articles found. Both pieces reflect not on the lost or found bric-a-brac of urban life but, instead on perception and its relation to objects seen. ‘Articles Lost’ speaks of how a first glimpse of a village, town or landscape is unique – for ‘habit has not yet done its work’. The absence of bearings makes the vista incomparable and irretrievable. We are lost in it. We are the lost articles.

Esther Leslie, “Spectacles & Signs”, at the amazing Militant Esthetix.