Objects tell us stories. They give us informations about the people and the civilizations that preceded us, reveal the culture, beliefs and habits of the people of every era. In a smaller frame, by the objects belonging to and / or used by someone, we can learn, or at least assume, a lot for him. The "lost" objects, found on the streets, present a special interest. Firstly, because they don’t usually fit to the environment in which they are, they are displaced, their function is lost and thus a feeling of absurdity and paradoxality is being created. Secondly, the fact of not knowing their owner, the reason and the way they ended up here, turns them into little mysteries to solve, intriguing our imagination. Thirdly, they symbolize abandonment and loss in some way, as probably someone is missing them. So finally, they are little treasures that pass unnoticed. The city, and more specifically the neighborhood, is a space that is public and intimate at the same time. It bears common experiences, as well as personal ones for it’s residents. Although, people don’t really live in public spaces anymore. They just pass by them to go to their work and then back home, in a hurry, without really paying attention to the environment around them. A neighborhood, or any public space, is made, not only from the buildings, the streets and other stable architectural or natural elements, but also from the ephemeral, small objects left on the streets, the little things that someone lost on his way, the things that often seem like garbage. These objects, left or forgotten, are the trace of the people that passed from a place, they bring the intimacy of their owner's life into the public space. These objects deserve to be seen and have their (invented) story told.

Urban Museum 0.2(the museum for the unnoticed things of your neighborhood), in situ installation in the neighborhood of Belcier in Bordeaux, flyers/ plastify paper tags/found objects, 2020

 

THE CHAIR OF THE GARDIANS OF THE RECYCLING CENTER

After the two inexplicable events of 2000 (cutting of the tree - emblem and disappearance of a little girl), much has started to change in the Belcier district. Many residents left their homes and moved. Some have started to believe that a higher power is punishing them. Some thought it was all a government plan to desert the area in order to be able to dispose more easily its suspicious waste at the municipal recycling center. These people created a group called "Guardians of the recycling center". They were constantly on the run, spreading their conspiracy theories and engaging in various types of actions. Each evening, they were alternately waching the mounds of garbage in the hope of catching government workers and continued to check the trash cans to confirm their theory. Here is the chair they had set up to sit and watch. As the group grew and members began to exist across the country, this chair became their national symbol.

THE MAGIC ETTERNAL TREE OF THE BELCIER DISTRICT

This tree has always existed in the Belcier district, scientists estimate that it was 1000 years old on the day of its inexplicable and mysterious cut in 2000. It could be considered as belonging to the citrus family because it very much resembles an orange tree, but in reality it is not the same as any other tree on earth. In addition to being perennial, it seems to resist the seasons, its leaves and fruits alternate but never die, its leaves fall green, and new ones grow immediately after. For years it has been the attraction of the neighborhood, locals and visitors were eating its fruits in the belief that they will also become immortal; mothers gave them to their children in the hope that they would become stronger and healthier. The day it was inexplicably cut and fell to the ground is a tragic moment in the history of the neighborhood, and although it has never been scientifically confirmed, many residents believed that his fall was responsible for the tragic disappearance of a young girl a few months later. Either out of fear or out of adoration, the inhabitants decided to leave the famous tree on the spot by turning it to a monument of their neighborhood. The tree still remains in bloom after its tragic fall but it no longer alternates its leaves and fruits, the latter now having a horrible taste.

THE LAST MEAL OF THE MASCOT OF BELCIER NEIGHBORHOOD

Mr. Claude Duval was always a little eccentric. His biggest whim was about food. He liked to eat leaves, grass and stones. Gradually, he stopped eating real food and from the age of 30 he was eating nothing but leaves, grass and stones. His favorite meal was the brown autumn leaves. Growing up, he became known as the fool of the Belcier district or as the man who survives by eating leaves and stones. A famous director made a film inspired by his story and local television channels paid tribute to him. Locals often treated him with suspicion and made fun of him, but at the same time he was the neighborhood mascot. Finally, at the age of 80, he was heavily accused of the disappearance of Sophie Perbost, a little girl who was bringing him leaves and stones every day to eat because he was too old to leave his house. After the tragic incident, devastated by the disappearance of his little friend and the unfounded accusations, he stopped eating completely and died of hunger a few days later. Next to his body was this gold-plated tray filled with the last meal his friend had brought him, which he decided to not eat but to keep as a souvenir after her disappearance.

TRIBUTE TO THE DISAPPEARANCE OF A YOUNG GIRL

Sophie Perbost was 8 years old on the day of her mysterious and tragic disappearance. Little Sophie left school and, as she did every day, she stopped to collect leaves for an old man with whom she had very good relations and often visited him to bring him food. But that day, Sophie never arrived at her friend's house, she never returned back home. The only thing that was found was her little school bag, on the ground, next to the fence she was climbing. Her mother continued to search for her for years after her disappearance, and the area had been in shock for some time after this tragic event. Some had accused the eccentric old man who was eating leaves, because from the start they suspected his close friendship with the little girl. Others believe the disappearance was linked to the inexplicable fall of the neighborhood's magic tree a few months earlier. Her bag is still at the place of her disappearance in tribute to her and her family and is frequently visited by believers and followers of metaphysical and inexplicable phenomena.

the four found objects-exhibits and the explicatory texts on their paper tags:

Urban Museum(the museum for the unnoticed things of your neighborhood), in situ installation in the neighborhood of Belcier in Bordeaux, posters/paper tags/found objects, 2019

the four found objects-exhibits and the explicatory texts on their paper tags:

 

THE HAPPIEST DEAD BODY OF THE WORLD
He was the happiest man in the world, he was a worker in construction sites. He always had a big smile on his face, even during rainy days, even when he worked all day, even when he was tired, even when his boss wasn't paying him. One day, on September 22 of 2008, it was very cold and the work was extremely difficult. He was eating his lunch during lunch break, smiling, the other workers could not bear his good mood and his big smile anymore, so they threw him from the eighth floor of the building.

 

 

 

THE TREE THAT HAD NEVER BLOOMED
This tree has been here for 50 years. Its species normally flowers, however, it had never had even one leaf. All its life it remained naked. The spring of 1994 a woman (her name is still unknown) put a beautiful bouquet on its branches and the next spring she replaced the dead bouquet with a new one. Since then, even after her death, every spring people from the neighborhood are puting a bouquet on the branches of this unlucky tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPOON
This spoon is left here as a souvenir of the glorious day when Mr. Armand Duchaton tried to eat the sky. He did not succeed but he forgot his spoon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE LOST HEAD
Since she was a child she had been always looking at the clouds. Throughout her daily life, no matter what she did she was always looking at the clouds, never the ground, never the people. Finally, on her 30th birthday, she took the decision, she cut off her head to throw it on the sky to live in the clouds. Unfortunately she did not think about the gravity...

 All images © Katerina Mavridi

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