The Art of Only Choosing Unique Pieces

The Art of Only Choosing Unique Pieces

“What is decisive in collecting is that the object is released from all its original purpose, to shape the closest possible relationship with other similar items. This connection is the exact opposite of utility, and falls within the unusual category of completeness. An impressive attempt to overcome the total irrationality of the object’s presence simply through its inclusion in a new specially created history-related order: the collection.” Collectors do exactly what Walter Benjamin (philosopher, bibliophile and collector) states: they restructure the world’s order, bringing together the items in their collections and arranging them according to a precise vision.
The beauty of collecting does not reside in the effort made to reach a target, but in the journey experienced in endeavouring to do so. Mere and simple attainment is not a collector’s goal: the collection’s purpose is always the building of a collection.
Collectors taste first-hand the magical effect of artistic creation: as they gradually strive to secure the initial idea, this changes; it evolves and transforms itself, often reaching an unexpected outcome. Objects, works of art, and pieces are bare if they fail to tell a story. Sometimes it is the artist’s story, other times it is the collection’s – but it is always the collector’s story.
A collector brings these items together through passion and knowledge, through taste and personality, through the need – always compulsive – to stay near beauty. Proximity to beauty is a relentless pursuit for collectors. Assisted by antique dealers – who know, pre-empt and cater to their customers – and advised by experts and art historians, collectors are often at the frontiers in their research fields.
And so when a collection has been compiled well, it stands simply as the biography of a soul. Which is why people collect: to leave traces of their lives, to include them within the world’s game and time, to build a ‘new history-related order, specially created’ – by us.

Excerpt from the article ‘L’arte di scegliere solo pezzi unici’ by Giovanni Salis, published in How To Spend It no. 4, supplement to Il Sole 24 Ore on 21 November 2014.
Photo: Giovanni Gastel for How To Spend It no. 4.

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