Curating Your Identity




miniaturised item no.1 for my valise. photo of original, miniature of item. scale 1:1.87


After last tutorial, I asked to myself. : Why would you, or people want to produce Duchamp’s Valise by themselves when you can access much more detailed photos and descriptions by library, online museum etc. In this era of abundance, manual which people might want is not the one for owning originality of masterpiece but could be manual for reproducing their own identity. As we discussed about ‘selfie’ syndrome shortly, people desire to leave their identity as the way they want to be looked from others. Then the manual for ‘how to make your own valise’ would make them to select 69 items of their ‘identity’ as to be remembered. As an artist? an architect? a student? a housewife? a business man? a traveller? a foreigner? a anonymous? a happy child?

You might ask back, then, why does it need to be in Valise? I cannot give you clear answer to that, but in reflection of what I am and where I am, person who voluntarily give up stability of place to leave, portability and expediency are friends to accompany with. To leave whenever I’m asked, or I want, I have to be ready to pack immediately and fly to other places. If you’re given one hour to pack and leave, what would you put in the valise? Your drawings? notes? photos? utilities? works? What do you want to keep and how do you want to be remembered?


manual for valise in work. showing sizes and instructions to follow to make your own.

But maybe the question underneath is this. Is curation of yourself in a Valise the way how people or history will remember you? Probably not. However as soon as you begin the process for reproduction, suddenly it will put yourself as an object who is looking your identity from detached outside. In the end you might not want to live as that identity any more, as Duchamp stopped living as an artist but a chess player and worker for his own reproduction, Boites. The only thing that will carry you on is rigour for the process that you have not the identity that you created.


I’m making a Manual for DIY Valise for the ReCon and reproducing myself bit by bit. Still lot’s of questions and glimpse of thinkings are going on, but I find that confusions are pretty helpful.

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2 Responses to Curating Your Identity

  1. Sabrina Morreale says:

    I like it. Have a look at this book: Re-object : Marcel Duchamp, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Merz /

  2. Natasha Sandmeier says:

    Your comments with regards to curating are on the mark – considering that as soon as you’ve defined an identity, you already start to move away from it towards someone else. In this sense it might be useful to look also at time capsules:

    and in particular, Andy Warhol who boxed thousands of objects, relics, and in some cases junk into hundreds of boxes that have been sifted through for the past several years by a team of archivists in Philadelphia. Here’s a link – there’s also an excellent radio programme on ‘This American Life’ talking about the process.