anomie of urban existence
Walter Benjamin began "The Arcades Project" in 1927, an extended essay about history refracted through the arcades, the glass-and-iron-roofed shopping streets of Paris. In "The Arcades Project", Benjamin writes that each epoch dreams the next; the 20th century is still asleep, still bewitched by the 19th-century dream of capitalism utopia. The ruin becomes an allegory of this fractured utopia that reveals its covered-up contradictions and broken promises. This allegorical approach to history, is critical of continuous and progressive historical time. It disrupts the notion of historical progress which is at the heart of commodity fetishism. MELANCHOLY OBJECTS is an exploration of this "ruin-gaze" that acknowledges the disharmony and the ambivalent relationship between human, historical, and natural temporalities.