A note about the concept of eminent domain, found on the sidewalk in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, May 2013.
Public Collectors is founded upon the concern that there are many types of cultural artifacts that public libraries, museums and other institutions and archives either do not collect or do not make freely accessible. Public Collectors asks individuals that have had the luxury to amass, organize, and inventory these materials to help reverse this lack by making their collections public.
This page consists of sample findings and excerpts. It is also an account of the contents of my home and digital files from my camera. If you have suggestions, have a collection you want to share, or are in Chicago and would like to see something in person, please contact me. This blog is intended as a casual, more personal supplement to the main Public Collectors website.
Public Collectors is maintained by Marc Fischer.
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Could these people have picked a creepier object to hang from their back gate? That the doll is frozen and has icicles hanging off of it isn’t helping matters. Photographed this morning in Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood.
One year ago today, Public Collectors lost a dear friend: Matt Hanner. Matt was a lot of people’s friend; he was just about the nicest person I’ve ever known.
Shortly after his completely unexpected death, I borrowed two boxes of Hanner’s ephemera and mailed art from Anthony Elms - a longtime friend of mine and a close friend of Matt’s. I made scans of many of these items and Anthony and I discussed putting them online. One year later I still haven’t uploaded the scans. On one hand, I feel badly about the delay in seriously contending with a lot of this material. On the other hand, I struggle with the idea of trying to somehow contain and neatly organize the highly quirky, personal, and varied approach of Matt Hanner’s art. And while I never pretended to understand what a lot of the things he made were about, I’m incredibly sad, still, that there won’t be any more of it.
Matt Hanner’s work took many forms. He made paintings, painted furniture, neon pieces, a truckload of burned CDrs, 35mm slide shows, field recordings, and hundreds of mailed postcards and bits of this and that. A burned CDr of a Boredoms album delivered on my birthday felt no less connected to his art practice than anything else he might create.
Over the next series of posts, I’ll be sharing some of the scans I made of things from the collection of Anthony Elms. Here is a modified postcard of Chicago. The back is stamped and addressed to Anthony but it’s undated because like quite a few of these postcards, Matt just wound up giving them to Anthony rather than mailing them.
A banner for a printing business on Chicago’s West side that offers family reunion and R.I.P. shirts. Gang, drug and gun-related deaths are rampant on the West side, resulting in a small industry for portrait t-shirts worn by friends and family to remember the deceased.