On collecting… (Little magazines & others…)

It’s the silly season and, as I prepare my next exhibition, I managed to go back to my collection of premier issues and find the by now sold-out O.K. Collections (not to be confused with the infamous OK celebrity magazine…).


The O.K. periodical, appears twice a year and is the result of a new phenomenon: blogs that turn into magazines or books after they’ve built an audience, thus betraying the still pervasive ambition to go into print – even when print is supposedly going down the drain.

Collections are always a catchy theme, so this issue caught my eye just like minimal music goes well into my ear. I guess pattern repetition – and the obsessiveness it entails – is strangely attractive to the inquisitive mind…

I remember collecting, more or less in chronological order, glass marbles, political parties’ graphics (it was Portugal in 1974), world coins, soft-drink cans, cigarette boxes (stuff from abroad: my uncle was a traveller), 70’s erotic music stickers, UFO clippings, science fiction books, LPs by The Fall, Kafka novels, film postcards, Jorge Luis Borges short stories collections, films, all the books from Woolf, Mishima, Kundera, McEwan, Carver, Auster, Kureishi and a few others… And whatever else, until more recently I’ve apparently acquired a grown-up and “mature” taste and started collecting photography…


Via “uberwert’s photostream” in Flickr…

Some collections I must have forgotten, some are comprised of only 5 or 6 items – like the African or Mexican masks – and others will go on forever – like cheap tin cars and the inevitable magazines. Others still are prompted by work itself, like when I started to get together daily images of architecture in delirium… (A set I’ve used in some conferences to illustrate a certain “state of the art”…)

axis mundi

Axis Mundi, via ArchDaily: stacking it after MVRDV…

Other’s collections also fascinate me, probably because they are on stuff I would never dream gathering. This happens with some of the weird collections in O.K. but also, more curiously, with the ones that originated the exhibition on OMA co-founder and RK’s wife, Madelon Vriesendorp.


“The world of Madelon Vriesendorp” (also a book) started at the AA, pictured here in Aedes, and has just passed by the Swiss Architecture Museum.

How can one even think of being a cultural actor without a taste for collecting?


One response to “On collecting… (Little magazines & others…)

  1. Pingback: Wonder Spam « shrapnel contemporary

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