During the 1990's I was very interested in the idea of collection for making sense of the world.

Display Cases


Two Details From the Collection;
African Artifacts, from the collection of Mr & Mrs Winter Salzberg (1995)
and Detail from the Collection: Blue private collection, London (1996)

I started washing all the plastic bottles that passed through our home, and putting them on a shelf. Colour became a way of classifying, and then I made display cases from recycled cardboard for exhibition.

When asked to participate in an exhibition in Salzberg, I found a family that had souvenirs from visits to local gift shops. I collected them together and installed a display case in their home.

There are already enough 'things' in the world without the need to add any more

Cummings continues to investigate the way we construct value – social, cultural and cultural – through material things. This would include thinking about the 'institutions of display', galleries, museums and shops for instance, as well as the artefacts they contain. Imagine a museum vitrine, with interior lighting in which plinths present vessels of immediate and luminescent elegance; works of art of obvious value and importance displayed in classic museological convention. Approaching the seductive display across the gallery floor, the visitor discovers that not only does the vitrine lack the heavy plate glass to protect the contents, but that the mahogany was actually of a less solid order; merely found cardboard glued together to approximate the authority of museum display. Just as surprisingly, on closer inspection, the contents of the case turn out not to be important example of Roman glass, but domestic plastic bottles, deprived of their labels and revealing beautiful shades of the palest to the deepest blue. By a process of close attention to the conventions of display, Cummings has conjured from the discarded, a work of effortless glamour and sharp critique.

From the catalogue Pictura Britannica: Art from Britain Sydney, Australia 1997

Related projects include #ObjectOfTheWeek on twitter, The Value of ThingsCollected and this intervention in Loot


Villa Arson, NiceIglesia del Santa SepulchroCollaborative mappingBoadilla babesAbandoned houseDaniel expert 1