Up to this day I am not sure whether the term "collector" applies to me. People who are called, or call themselves, collectors usually discover their passion for collecting things very early in life. Butterflies, stamps, prints, chocolate wrappers, football cards from cereal packets, or notebooks full of thousands of car number plates have been the object of their passion for collecting. I never collected anything - unless you count impressions and encounters.

When I drive from A to B, the first thing that comes into my head is how can I return from B to A without using the same route. For me new impressions, new perspectives and new views are expressions of taking delight in 'the new'. "Life is like a never ending holiday" - at least as long as it does not repeat itself. Boredom is slow death. Collecting is always a little like losing your sense of reality, the misguided belief that you can make impressions permanent and thus gain a piece of immortality.

Holiday-makers document their escape from the drabness of everyday life via video or camera. Paper snapshots, photographs of vantage points, "Bella Vista" are the beginnings of a passion for collecting. Lager louts collect hangovers, frequent fliers collect miles - everybody is a collector, but me!

Collecting is the opposite of weightlessness.

OK, I am not a collector, but an enthusiastic exhibition organiser. I love planning exhibitions, discovering new things and presenting the selected results of my personal previews.

It has always filled me with joy and pride to have put a good exhibition together with works that nobody had seen before, with new pieces which I had discovered, and for which others, trusting my expertise, were prepared to pay money in order to see them as well.

Discovering and obtaining works of art is one thing, but sending them back after an exhibition, packing them up, insuring them, filling in carnets, etc., is another. Much simpler to just keep them. You can then reach into your own archives for further exhibitions, you can exhibit beautiful pieces in two places at the same time, you can distribute holograms spontaneously, you are independent as an exhibition organiser.

Looking at it this way, I am an exhibition organiser who collects his exhibitions - funny that, I am not a collector really!

Matthias Lauk spoke in the Collectors' Forum.
German text

Exhibition of work by Melissa Crenshaw & Sydney Dinsmore
at the
Museum for Holography and New Visual Media, Pulheim, Germany, 1990.
Pulsed reflection holograms on photographic hangings.
Photo © Museum für Holographie & neue visuelle Medien
| Introduction | Sessions | Speakers | Exhibition | Resources | Awards | Organisers | Sponsors | Home |