Question for Seller originated from my interest in family photographs that appear on eBay. I purchased photographs that no-one else bid for, with the connotation that they were unwanted, and therefore with no significant value. The seller was approached with the question – How did you come across the photos and what, if anything, do you know about them? Their replies, however brief, are as important as the photographs they are selling – sometimes alluding to a part of a discarded family history, or the everyday, where personal photographs have long since lost their original meaning.
Question for Seller was finally auctioned off, both as an exhibition and as an artist’s bookwork, at Belfast Exposed on Thursday 1st February 2007. At 7pm the exhibition, which comprised of photographs purchased off eBay, were sold as lots starting from 99p to the highest bidder. At 8pm online bidding closed for the unique ‘family album’ – which had been on show in the gallery since 4th December 2006 – and on eBay from 23rd January 2007. The closing eBay auction was broadcast on the night and the event gave everyone a chance to take an artwork home with them at the end of the night. Question for Seller enabled the audience to purchase, participate, and engage with two questions: what is our relationship to the past, and what is the value we ascribe to it?
A clip of the Auction night is one of the films featured below: click on Question for Seller
Special Thanks to:
Karen Downey Belfast Exposed Photography Northern Ireland
Arts Council of Northern Ireland
Illiyana Nedkova ARC Projects
Michael Grant Infinite Thrill
Chris Taylor Wild Pansy Press
Evan Thomas Stills Edinburgh