L’Appartement – Espace Images Vevey
Barbara Iweins, Katalog
12,795 photos of 12,795 objects
Images Vevey is handing Barbara Iweins the keys to L’Appartement to present her Katalog project.
After her nerve-wracking eleventh move and her divorce, Barbara embarked on a unique introspective project, photographing the 12,795 objects in her house, one by one, from the kitchen to the bathroom, via the living room, her three children’s bedrooms, and the basement. She then catalogued these objects by colour, material, and frequency of use. Her inventory echoes Jacques Prévert’s poem with a fascinating mirror of our consumer society and includes detailed statistics such as “37% of my children’s Playmobil figurines are bald”.
L’Appartement – Espace Images Vevey represents Barbara’s twelfth move, this time into an idealised house which, through the rooms, objects, and the artist’s confessions, reveals an intimate and universal self-portrait of a 21st-century mother.
Entrance: 185 objects
Kitchen: 948 objects
Dining room: 1651 objects
Barbara’s bedroom: 1402 objects
Bathroom: 645 objects
Toilet: 32 objects
Barbara, 49 years old
The tour begins in the west wing of L’Appartement, with THE HALLWAY, THE DINING ROOM, BARBARA’S BEDROOM, her BATHROOM and her KITCHEN, connected by a long corridor with insightful domestic and personal statistics. Here, Barbara reveals the pots and pans in her kitchen, gloves and coats strewn over the hall floor and her collection of Blythe dolls, as well as countless useless objects, cuddly toys, and felt-tips without lids in the shared rooms, before modestly presenting her mismatched underwear and the sex toys she keeps in her bedroom. In her bathroom, she recounts the anxiolytic that changed her life and the story of a hot-water bottle cut up into little pieces, the remnants of a stormy relationship.
delpire & co, Paris
Treat life as a constant playground: This is the fourth founding principle, which can be summed up in a single catchword. ‘PLAYGROUND’. This is the core of the unsolicited advice Riverboom gives to future generations on how to live and contemplate the world while having fun. To illustrate this premise, the collective presents an environment inspired by their most famous publication (possibly their only real greatest hit!): Switzerland versus The World, displayed in an enlarged format.
Basement: 2257 objects
Project duration: 4 years
Combining stories and confessions, photography and text, Barbara reveals her true self by sharing personal memories linked to a selection of objects she owns. Le Cinéma in L’Appartement presents the compulsive repetitive process of creating her Katalog series. Videos she filmed during this period present a neurotic behind-the-scenes peek full of self-deprecation. Barbara explains that “working this repetitively on my project was in a way very comforting… Even if it felt like being in Groundhog Day, it gave me a structure in life. While organising all these objects with discipline and dedication, it was like I was organising my thoughts and my life. It felt a little like necessary therapy.”
Pieter’s bedroom: 2151 objects
June’s bedroom: 1060 objects
Julia’s bedroom: 1020 objects
Pieter, 7 years old
June, 9 years old
Julia, 12 years old
Barbara’s children each have their own bedroom, even though Pieter’s room is more of a cubbyhole. The bedroom doors all open onto the same hallway and have strong symbolic significance: They slam, open or creak discreetly depending on the mood and the activity. The three rooms are full of toys, including Pieter’s 805 pieces of Lego (about a box full). Most of the pink items in the house (19%) are in June’s room. Barbara also makes sure she spends about the same amount on toys for each of her three children, upholding her maternal sense of fairness. Thanks to her long list of sums, Barbara has written proof that her children are all spoilt to the same extent.