Friday, January 27, 2012

Pinpointing my fascination with David C. Nolan and the Cat Scrapbook Lady

I have a lot in common with these two characters that I'm currently researching and creating art in response to their photographic and printed paper collections. My fascination with David C. Nolan stems from his organizational skills, his neat handwriting and his method of archiving his photographs. I never had an interest in Marilyn Monroe before encountering his collection. His words written on the back of the Monroe images make me feel strange and I always like it when that happens (that moment when I start to question everything I thought I knew but ultimately don't know anything about at all). Needless to say, I see myself in his archiving system. Now that I know he had nearly 300,000 images in his basement, that aspect of his life is all the more intriguing. My messy handwriting can't compare to his fastidiousness but my labeling system can.

As for the cat scrapbook woman (whose name I must extract from the greeting cards written inside)*, I see myself in the moments when I realize that I am posting too many photographs of my cats on Instagram or when I walk into the half bathroom that houses the litter boxes to see that it really is the "Cat Bathroom."

I know I won't become a David C. Nolan but I fear I could turn into this woman whose obsession in the 1940s produced the largest scrapbook I have ever seen. Both of these people make me realize my interest in numbers and replicating activities.

My thoughts on how to install the David C. Nolan and Marilyn Monroe series are now in flux since I learned that his collection was more expansive than I ever would have believed. Suddenly he's not as "clean" anymore so I am contemplating ways of viewing the Marilyn Monroe photographs in another way that conveys this. Drew described him today as a "porn hoarder" which is quite accurate. As I am thinking about this, I will begin scanning cats at long last. Nothing like a deadline to make that finally happen.

*UPDATE: Her name is Arline.

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