"To see is to forget the name of what one sees."
This single object book features detritetis from the world over, laminated and sewn in a Coptic style. Casual observers may not see the thing that is right in front of them. Like this paper wrapping or that scrap of plastic, a worn ticket to some hour of peace, a label from some long forgotten cure... To see the signs and symbols not as advertisement for a product, but products themselves. Products of our fertile imaginings of anthropomorphic spirits, ideals or emotional states illustrated. Our disposable culture cannot resist material representation, the veils of consumption reveal the desires of culture which has produced them. The visual richness of 600 years of printing in every stamp or wrapper. The reinvention of icons to express movements of whole cultures. The "flies in amber" quality of the laminated ephemera focuses the reader on the interconnectedness of all of the signs and symbols inherent in advertising. Propaganda, religious iconography, advertising- all are packaging , all hold meaning: A rebus of icons, a palimpsest of products, a Rosetta stone of the plastic age.
This book can be read at the NYPL.