Listen, inside the current issue of 032c magazine there is a two-page spread of artist Hans-Peter Feldmann’s installation for a Louis Vuitton in Dusseldorf, wherein he somehow got lady strangers to give him their handsome purses and artfully arranged their contents in the window. I would show you, but I can’t find an image of it anywhere on the internet! This means there are still things in magazines you cannot find online. Amazing! Many have suspected this, and I am happy to provide some scientific evidence. Also thanks to IBCers Page + Michael for giving me that magazine as a birthday present! Now, onward: women’s purses. I’m obsessed with what’s inside them too, just like Mr. Feldmann. I love the last page of Nylon magazine where they shoot a trendy purse dumped of all kinds of amazing shit, like the best pinata you’ll never get a whack at. Elisa Shea is a Los Angeles-based photographer who is obsessed with girls flinging their giant purses to the ground so they can paw through them like raccoons searching for that lost lipgloss or housekey or bobby pin. Oh, I also used to love that part on the old game show Let’s Make A Deal when the guy would go through the audience and offer a hundred dollars to any woman who was carrying, like, a hammer in their pocketbook. Anyway, check out Elisa’s photos:
I bugged my traveling tourmates Myriam Gurba and MariNaomi to show me the contents of their cute and classy purses. First up was Myriam, who was placidly trying to read a copy of Kevin Sampsell’s A Common Pornography as we twisted and turned along the Lost Coast.
“I got it at Aldo. It was the last one, it was in the window. It was like the puppy in the window, I had to have it.” The van turns a tight corner and suddenly the ocean is there with a million waves going out as far as we can see. “This is like a swap meet landscape painting!”
“I feel like this purse is grown up. It’s kind of English and kind of dowdy and I like that about it. People don’t expect me to havethis purse, and I like that it surprises them. I think people expect me to have a much more sinister purse.”
Contents: “Chapbooks, ragged pocketbook, gloves, notebook with a llama on it, early invite to the dyke march, Translady Fanzine postcard, map of Santa Cruz – I really need to clean my purse. Empty gum package, Melatonin, anti-depressants, digital camera, Rolaids, sunglasses, passport, tampon, tampon, lipgloss, Ibuprofin, eyeliner, phone charger, Claritan, iPod, a teacher’s bundle of keys, ragged coin purse, lipliner. I don’t even know what this is – oh, anti-nausea medication. Eye mask, ear buds, pen, more Claritan, and then the rest is just – more lipgloss, iPod mini.”
Here’s MariNaomi with the bag I have to stop myself from stealing from here every single day. “I got it in Warsaw.” That’s amazing to me, because when I was in Warsaw and in shopping withdrawal the only thing I could find was a pair of striped pants at a second-hand store. “It was in a mall, maybe the Pucinni store, that’s the brand. I looked around for years for the perfect carry-on bag.”
Contents: “Travel journal, books for reading from, a book that I’m slowly reading with a SARs mask inside as a place holder, a bunch of my zines, my Elle magazine, pen set, Bloom County, a daily journal that I haven’t been writing in, iPod paraphernalia, an iPod I thought I’d left at a hotel but I found it last night, our little calendar, umbrella, stuff that my sister gave me, most awesome pencil case ever, house keys and Burt’s Bees hand salve, doggie bag, the key card from The Queen Mary, a ton of one-cent stamps. Oh, and the strap for my purse.”
The most important thing in Myriam’s purse is money, and the least important is the iPod mini. The most important thing in Mari’s bag is her books for reading at the show, the comic she’s working on, her travel journal and the envelop full of money. The least important are the books she’s reading. Okay. I blog this from downtown Portland, apparently steps away from the Pendleton store. Au revoir!