I’ve written previously about sentimentality, and attaching affection and memory to a material object. This surrounds a lot of the work I’m doing this semester. Obsessive Sentimentality.
Let me tell you a story. I went to Paris in the Summer of 2010. I saw everything. I saw Matisse and Rothko, a perfect sunset on top of the Arc de Triomphe, quaint towns and monumental architecture. And when it came to throwing my monthly contact lenses away at the end of July, I just couldn’t.
Which is stupid. It is completely irrational behaviour to allow these pieces of plastic that have been sitting on my eyeballs for a month, to have some kind kind of lasting power. If I lost the knackered old lenses, would I lose the visions of what I’ve seen? No. But its somehow a comfort having them. There’s a feeling that memory just isn’t enough.
So sometimes I keep my lenses. Because I can’t not.
I’ve worn 84 pairs of contact lenses. I keep some and remember them all. And I allow them to represent everything I’ve ever seen. Am I crazy? Perhaps… Certainly an obsessive sentimentalist. But I could make some art of this.