The History of the World in One Hundred Objects



Life has been downright exhausting lately. It's not that I haven't had a moment to myself, it's that those moments are fleeting and followed by a lot of other overwhelming and time consuming drama. I'm tired. I keep saying it. I feel it. It won't go.

A few weeks ago, I had the chance to visit the Western Australia Museum and see an exhibit. I've wanted to go for months but, again, life keeps getting the way. I'd make plans with a friends and have to postpone, and so I found it a bit ironic that after months of thinking about the exhibit and we had managed to walk through it in an hour. Such is life.

The 'A History of the World in 100 Objects' Exhibition was interesting to peruse, with some modern items on the list that I wouldn't have imagined to be there. It did get me thinking, though. Centuries of culture, creativity, politics and innovation were obviously reduced to the barest of objects but if I were to catalogue the history of my world, of my life, what would I put in it? I remember making a time capsule when I was a kid and I filled it with the most silly things because I didn't want to part with the every day books and toys. I started to wonder that if I could go back in time and hold onto things, what would they be?

A giant rock/axe. perhaps?

A doll from when I was younger? A bike? A merit award from school or a cup from pre school? A cassette or discman from my teen years? The cast from when I fractured an ankle? I really don't know. But now I think I need to know. We can't catalogue memories or feelings but we can keep the physical reminders of the past. They have something to teach us.

Not the sort of poster that I had on my wall. But it would do.
Back to the museum. It was a great exhibit, even though it was fairly small. The video commentary by the British Museum was limited to a few items but insightful nonetheless. The more modern pieces are toward the end of the walkthrough so I'm glad we took our time at the beginning.
 
A lot going on over here.
 
An hour was enough time to appreciate all one hundred objects and gain some appreciation for mankind's complex growth and interconnected experiences that have resulted in the now. Today. However, there is no doubt it will take me a lot longer to make my list of one hundred items and I would never be able to collect them. I do hope someone, someday in the future, finds my doll Sylvia and she winds up in a museum somewhere. But I'll never know.

My own statue would be pretty cool too.

A History of the World in 100 Objects
Western Australia Museum
Perth Cultural Centre
13 February 2016 – 18 June 2016
9:30am - 5pm

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