Rereeti has a fun, creative project for its readers. Read on a bit to learn how museums can be a place that can inspire us to view our homes differently.
What are some of your favorite possessions or things at home? Would you consider them museum worthy? Photo courtesy: Nilofar Shamim Haja.
Our homes are filled with the beautiful and the mundane. We take great pains to set up our home and arrange it with things – both functional and aesthetic, and care for them until they are old or serve their purpose. In many cases, we get bored with the items and dispose them. We also happen to hold on to old objects for sentimental values, not wishing to let go of a tattered, black-and-white photograph of our grandparents, a book from your favorite professor, a watch you received on your sixth birthday, the first romantic gift from our partner (I am guilty of all these!), and so on. The narrative of our lives can be read through the ‘things’ we collect and let go over the years.
Have you ever stopped to consider the value of these objects, beyond their utilitarian purpose? Why is a shoe-rack seen as a utility item and placed in the corridor or neatly tucked into a corner, but the chinaware crockery gets pride of place in our kitchen cupboards? We put paintings under the spotlight, but keep flower vases at the oddest of places. Every home has a pattern of subtlety and ostentation in the arrangement of stuff. Does it remind you of another place where ‘things’ are carefully chosen and displayed? Yes, the museum!
It does seem like the museum is an extension of our home, albeit on a grander scale. Museums and heritage sites are imbued with historical and national significance. While the objects at home hold meaning to our family and relatives, the museum acts as a repository of our country’s things, from the most ancient times to the modern. Citizens get a sense of their ancestry, as well as their nation’s cultural, scientific, historical, and technological progress through the materials on display at the museums. The only marked difference between things that you find at home and at the museum is that at the latter, all objects are placed under the spotlight, neatly labelled identifying what they are, and come with a board that says ‘do not touch’.
Rereeti invites its readers to choose their favorite thing at home and send us a photograph of the object, in its natural setting. Photo courtesy: Nilofar Shamim Haja.
For a country such as India, with a history spanning several millennia, our museums face the tough challenge of deciding what objects to showcase and what to downplay or hold back. Curators pick and choose distinctive items, which carry historical significance either for where the object came from, its craftsmanship, the dynasty or kingdom it belonged to, how it influenced living conditions (art, work, lifestyle, trade, religious values), and its continuing legacy in contemporary times.
So, here’s Rereeti’s creative challenge for readers:
1. Take a leisurely walk through your home and look at the things around. Cushions, books, jewellery, lights, prayer paraphernalia, decorative objects, calendars, pens, sewing machine.
2. Pick any one of your favorite object and click a photo.
The object could be something which is precious in today’s time and may not be in use 60 years from now. An object you admire for its design, functionality or aesthetic appeal. Or anything at home that you are attached to, for sentimental values and something you would like to see at your local museum in the future.
Where to post the photo:
1. Login to Twitter and follow @rereeti
2. Upload the photo and type: Object of my Affection: silk shawl / xyz)
3. Use the hashtags #rereeti #museumworthy and post your tweet. Don’t forget to tag us @rereeti
Alternately, you can email us a picture of your favorite object and tell us why it’s museum worthy. Email Rereeti.
All photo submissions will be added to our Flickr account.
This creative exercise begins February 8, 2015 and runs all through this month. Show your love for your favorite things and tell us why they should be at the museum!