One year for Valentine’s Day I received a surprise package from my then paramour. Inside was a book and the following message (paraphrased from memory, of course): “I know that you don’t particularly care for Valentine’s Day, but I know that you like things.” It was – and still is – as true an assessment of my obsession with tactile objects as any I have come across. Stumbling upon a new project by graphic designer Trine Hisdal and copywriter Astrid Hagen Mykletun, I think I may have found kindred spirits.
For the inaugural issue of Artist Diner – a limited edition mini-magazine, exhibition and website that follows four different annual themes – Hisdal and Mykletun have focused on the theme of “Folk + Things”: “We surround ourselves with things. We really need some of them; and we think we need others. Is it OK to admit to liking things?” Not merely a document of commodity fetishism, the contributions to “Folk + Things” beautifully shed light on the personal significance attributed to unassuming objects and the narratives that accrue around them. Stories of inheritance, desire, nostalgia and the simple happiness of looking at a familiar object are juxtaposed in evocative ways that suggest that it is indeed more than OK to like things.