Stuff (2003)
inkjet prints from digital photographs
Gary Lee Nelson

George Carlin has always been a favorite of mine and his monologue about "stuff" is one of his best.   It was playing in my mind when I took this series of photographs.

When you go to a flea market or garage sale or you clean out grandma's attic you see a lot of stuff.   Each piece has a history that has been touched at every stage by unseen human hands.   Somebody recognized or created a need for the thing and so it was conceived.   The idea was taken to a boss who approved its manufacture and then to designers who decided its size, shape, color and texture.   It was put in a catalog, advertisement or on a store shelf and it was sold.   It went home and was displayed or used for a time.   Eventually, it fell out of fashion or favor and was put away just in case it might be needed again.   If it escaped death in the landfill, it might be sold or given away and come to rest among someone else's stuff.

In its current resting place it is associated with other objects that, viewed together, tell a story about their collective heritage.   Sometimes the sum of the objects tells a story that none of them can tell alone.   Who knows whether these arrangementswere intentional or accidental or whether there was some subconscious plan for their placement together just so.

My part in this is the humble observer who was moved by the suggestions, implications and inferences to record these groupings.

(click on photos to enlarge to 8x10)