THINGS I HAVE NEVER HAD
This is a project on lists and female identity. It takes off from an archival finding at the Emily Harvey Foundation in Soho, New York. Digging through the vast collections of issues, journals and books from Something Else Press, I found a poem entitled “Things I Have Never Had” by Laura Boss in ASSEMBLING 13.1, an experimental magazine from 1987 entirely made of handcrafted materials. I read the poem and took a picture of it, mainly out of curiosity. I started sending the photo to women I knew and asking them to send me their lists. What did we list? Was it just things we wish we had had? Things we were proud of not having had? Things we dreaded? Tasks? Desires? As I started to receive the list of my friends, I tracked down Laura and visited her New Jersey where she now lived. We talked extensively about lists and poetry, and I invited her to come to the Emily Harvey where we hosted an exhibition and informal talk among some of the lists’ authors. We all shared our ideas about what lists meant to us, and afterwards I invited my friends to cross out things they had had from other women’s lists. Together, we shared a new list of things we had and had not had; a new collective, polyphonic archive.