Fear not, this is not another methereopatic post, but despite my skeptical soul it will probably sounds a bit cheesy. Valentine's Day is a bad bad thing, stop reading my blatant digressions while you're still on time!
While we say love is an impalpable feeling, we often forget love stories are made of memories and that these memories are built around objects.
The very first time we meet someone that will become important to us, we take a mental picture of the moment and we do the same for every important moment we live together since that first one.
In these pictures we include feelings, words and gestures of course, but also a lot of other things like places, clothes we are wearing and every little tangible detail. A book, a photo but even a bus ticket or a candy can be the key to "open" that memory.
A lot of people tend to keep these things like treasures and when our stories reach an end, we find themselves alone but surronded by objects. We then must choose if we want - or better, if we are able - to keep them or we have to get rid of (even if maybe we could regret it later), as we try to go on with our lives.
In the end, is not weird to say that love stories are made of objects.
The first time I've heard the name of Leanne Shapton was when I've read The New Yorkers and saw her illustrations. She is a New York based artist, art director, contributor to The New York Times and The New Yorker, she runs J&L Books with photographer Jason Fulford and she is author of interesting and quirky books.
Her latest one has probably the longest title you can imagine and if you're a slave to details and think life (and love life...) is all about little things, you will probably love it as much as I'm doing.
Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris, Including Books, Street Fashion, and Jewelry is neither a narrative tale, nor a graphic novel. Someone call it "a catalogue" and it looks like a real auction catalog indeed. But it's a fake one, or at least there's way more behind this.
Working as a puzzle, Important Artifacts shows the relationship of Leonore and Harold, a columnist for the New York Times and a photographer, from beginning to breakup, through their material belongings that are now up for auction.
The book and the whole idea are very smart and at the same time wonderfully heartbreaking. You have not real informations about the love affair, but you build it, listen to it and spy the characters involved just watching at each photo and reading the description of each "lot" of objects.
It's all up to reader, like in real life...
EDIT: though it's not my fault, I'm really sorry for the awful pop-up Google ads in the Leanne Shapton video interview above...