Swedish Photographer Sannah Kvist created this intimate gallery titled All I Own. It features Hipsters together with all their wordly possessions. In a day and age where we value materialistic possessions you wouldn't think otherwise, but there is a remarkable amount of empty space that emphasize a minimalist lifestyle that realises the real riches in life can't be held in your hands.
I wasn't too far off from my assumption, as the artist later explained to me in an email:
All participants are born in the 80s, just like myself. It is an important part of the project that it is limited in this way. It has other limitations too, but this is the most important.
Why? Because '80s Generation is the first generation, at least in Sweden, who had to grow up with worse social conditions than their parents, while the way we consume has changed radically.
'80s Generation has also grown up with a new approach to individualism and has been described as extremely selfish and materialistic of previous generations. I have nothing to say about this, but I think the criticism has been fierce.
We buy more and more and much of what we buy is based on confirmation of our own person. I want to explore how this generation, my own, has been affected by this change in approach to consumption.
Just when I had started working with this project I became aware that none of the participants had a fixed mortgage or a first contract, but shorter sublet. They were already very familiar to move around town with their boxes full of life style product. Where previous generations easily were able to find safe housing, having to more every 6 months became normalized for younger generations.
I remember myself when I lived in Stockholm, how I before moving to a new flat minimized my stuff more and more. I came to Stockholm to a truck and went away with an IKEA-bag. What was left was what I thought was most important. It that defines me most as a person.
Now when I live in Gothenburg, where it's easier to find a sublet where you can stay longer, I have increased the household goods again. Most with trinkets, I think... I just recently bought a life size skeleton made of PVC. I have no further comments... :-)
So while the property itself become non-static and reduced to some sort of showroom for the stuff we own, the identification value has increased.
The procedure is as follows:
I set up the camera in the participants' living rooms or bedrooms (most live in one room apartments) and the model must collect all the furniture and all the loose stuff to build a pile, a sculpture, in front of the camera. They get all the freedoms to design the stack and choose what should be a priority spot from the camera's perspective. Everything should be in, however, but one can hide some stuff in the back. I photograph the person and the pile together. Depending on how ambitious they are involved with their styling, each image took from 2 to 5 hours, with coffee break included of course.
The project started as a documentation of what I owned at that time. I had just moved for the third time in six months and was so damn tired of moving everything so I had started to give away much of what I owned. At the moment I owned not much at all. When I wanted to continue the project with other participants, I noticed how quickly they began to "compose" their stacks. Much time was devoted to fine-tune them, put some stuff in front, hiding others. They were proud of some things, less than others. It became clear that it was important to express the models own personality in the pictures, probably much because all were portrayed next to the stack.
So far it has gone fairly smoothly because all the models are used to move around and therefore do not live in big houses with giant furniture. But I want to try to broaden the participants something. It has been quite convenient to choose people in your direct or indirect presence.
Permission to use the above image was kindly permitted by Sannah.
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