Monday, September 16, 2013

On the Road to Riga

In a helpful example of synchronicity, Meliadhor brings us this assemblage of items and ephemera from a period railroad trip to Riga. It's a great example of the storytelling-via-props idea David Anaxagoras was discussing in Friday's post.  The set includes a hand bound leather journal, camera, a period map of the Riga railroad route, tickets, and an authentic railroad watch. 


Philip Obermarck said...

I thought you might want to know about a project on a massive scale that follows this same principle. Although the contents are much more bizarre than one might expect (charcoal, fish, toys, etc.), the idea is the same-- to build a narrative.

I recently heard about this project by auteur Peter Greenway called the Tulsa Luper Suitcases. The entire conceit was apparently to make a series of media based off of the contents of 92 suitcases owned by "professional prisoner" Tulsa Luper, which gradually tell the story.

From Wikipedia: "Luper was born in 1911 in Newport, South Wales and disappeared into ever more obscure prisons and jails in Russia and the Far East in the 1970s. ... His life is shrouded in mystery, but it seems that Luper has been present at some of the key historical events of the 20th century ... Although Luper spent most of his life being a professional prisoner, he still managed to collect a large amount of objects and store them in suitcases. In a way, these suitcases represent the world according to Tulse Luper."

Greenway created 3 films, web content and an exhibition to showcase this work.

CoastConFan said...

For some real life story boxes, there is a project to review all the contents of suitcases left behind in an insane asylum. It is really very poignant and telling the items that the patients took with them on their one way trip.

They are from the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane in New York state with photography by Jon Crispin. The suitcases date from 1910 to 1960, so the narrative is one that moves through time. I really recommend going to the different sites. It’s sad, but by no means as tragic as viewing items left behind in museum exhibits of WWII camps. In a way, these suitcases are the only mark left behind in a world that has forgotten them.