Project info

Artist’s Statement
Relics is a collection of portraits of everyday objects that are past their prime. Once relied upon, they have become touchstones of an earlier way of life. The bag used by a doctor who made house calls. A rotary dial telephone that gave you time to consider each number. Writing on a manual typewriter. All displaced by something faster, sleeker, more efficient.

My aim for this project is to honor our inventive past and save some of its icons from the trash heap of memory. I photographed each item singly so that the viewer can examine its individual essence. Cracks and scuffs of hard use. Rust from damp storage. Mended hinges. Patches worn smooth by frequent polishing. The objects are cultural artifacts from a different world.

I’ve found that photographing items from the last century, while using a 21st century camera and computer, has made me consider how the qualities and limitations of our objects affect us. Whether we possess them for a month or for generations, the things we use become our collaborators. The relics in this show helped people through dark nights and hot summers; offered medicinal and musical relief. In that way, they and all the objects we have used, loved, and discarded shape the character and spirit of our society.
-Robert Moran