Objects retrieved from the ruins of the past and dreaming of a better life: Thinking of the collector as a historical materialist

Ayyildiz E.

MARMARA JOURNAL OF COMMUNICATION, no.23, pp.37-48, 2015 (ESCI) identifier


In this article, collecting, seemingly an escape to fantasy in our everyday realities we believe to be stuck in, will be thought as an alternative life strategy by following the traces of Walter Benjamin and Unsal Oksay. Meanwhile, this collective attitude is an act which antiquarian will spend money on and is not market oriented. It desires the liberation of todays' commodified objects from their functionality they are imprisoned to, thereby creating the possibility of another life and desires these for the people as well. Thinking about this issue, the lectures of Unsal Oskay, what he wrote about and how he looked at Benjamin, Nurdan Gurbilek's translations and articles related to Benjamin and of course the writings of Benjamin himself are the basic references of this article. Beyond these, collectors and gatherers whom I met, whom I made in-depth interviews with, the narratives of the collectors and gatherers who joined our Programme "Piling: The Adventure of Collecting in the Humankind" we made with Kadir Kivilcimli on Acik Radyo between 2003 and 2004, and the people I met in second hand bookshops are the foci of thoughts in this article.