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The Collection

Part 2 Project 2004
Michael de Wolf
Natalie Gall
University of Greenwich | UK
“Each stone he finds, each flower picked and each butterfly caught is already the start of a collection. Scarcely has he entered life than he is a hunter. He hunts the spirits whose trace he scents in things” Walter Benjamin

“Every passion borders on the chaotic, but the collectors passion borders on the chaos of memories.” Walter Benjamin

“…the allegorist rummages here and there for a particular piece, holds it next to some other piece, and tests to see if they fit together – that meaning with this image or this image with that meaning. The result can never be known beforehand, for there is no natural mediation between the two.” Walter Benjamin

Michael de Wolf
Natalie Gall

Michael de Wolf, is an obsessed student, he is obsessed with collecting and with the production of his work. He is the kleptomaniac of Thamesmead. Our atelier/unit were making critical investigations of the Thames Gateway debacle and the proposed east London river crossing. He developed a theoretical understanding of collecting and the collector, through the writing of Walter Benjamin. His boxed collection is the key to the project; the postcards of the models, drawings, and the artifacts of his project gradually reveal and unfold the formwork and concrete of his building on the edge of the Thames. The structure is constructed and eroded with the collection. The box reveals his rich representational skills and the extent of his obsessions.


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