Artist Creates an Inventory of Her 657 Personal Possessions and Reads It Aloud in a 7-Hour Performance

On January 1, 2013, artist Chelsea Hodson began cataloging all her 657 personal possessions, one per day, in a project entitled Inventory. She posted each object to her Tumblr blog, each accompanied by a photo and a description. They can be most easily viewed in her blog archive. After nearly two years, she had created a more than 40,000-word catalog. On October 19, 2014, Hodson staged INVENTORY: Under Objects Under Oath, a seven-hour durational performance during which she read the entire catalog aloud. The performance was presented by Marina Abramovic Institute in collaboration with Imagine Science Film Festival, where the performance took place.

Inventory by Chelsea Hodson
INVENTORY: Under Objects Under Oath

Inventory by Chelsea Hodson
Inventory #305: Argyle sweater


Eros, beating me cruelly with a rod tied round with hyacinths, ordered me to run by his side; and as I ran through fierce torrents and thickets and gullies the sweat distressed me, my heart climbed to my nose and I might have perished; but Eros fanned my brow with his tender wings and said, “Can’t you love, then?”

—The Anacreontea, Fragment 31

Inventory by Chelsea Hodson
Inventory #216: MacBook Air


If intelligence is assigned to those smart enough to invent their own tools, & if crows have begun dropping nuts in the street so cars can crack them, then are our brains comparable? Ravens are capable of looking into a mirror & recognizing a “self.” I saw a raven in a sky & saw my “self.” I wrote about it on my tool which I purchased, but did not invent, was not even close to inventing.

Inventory by Chelsea Hodson
Inventory #173: The Paris Review, No. 201


If you include a self-addressed envelope with your submission, The Paris Review will mail you a piece of paper that’s made by cutting a full-sized piece of paper into eight pieces. I’ve begun saving my palm-sized notes, so in a few years I’ll have a full-sized letter from The Paris Review for my archives.

photos via Chelsea Hodson

via Tumblr Staff