Market A:
online second hand

The few times I have moved to another country, I quickly look for the local ‘ebay’. I think most countries have at least one of these monster second hand markets online where you can buy and sell anything. These places are very messy and complex, but over time I can extract a feeling for the local material world: the aesthetic history of the area, the emotional geography of what’s currently hot and what’s not.

To deep-dive there (I did my research on Estonian it takes a lot of scrolling, but I have seen things there that my eyes do not recognize. In this image-fatigued online life, it’s a rare treat.


It’s fascinating how disoriented I felt in the middle of the different patterned fabrics and clothing I saw at these markets, when I’m at the same time capable of judging a pair of jeans at an online store only by the colour of its seams. I’ve seen these patterns all my life, but I can only guess which of them are dated or what is currently trending, I couldn’t fully decipher how to prefer one pattern over another.

I’m starting to see how the decorative practices of covering blank spaces with patterns, adding ornaments, adding knick-knack, all of this is a practice of stitching together people, places and time. Decoration has the power to do it by passing our brains and talking straight to our senses and memories. Looking at these ladies sitting in patterns of nature reminds me how they are making themselves porous to their environment, voicing their relationship to the outside world by covering themselves and their things. Looking at this decorated world long enough, an empty white space can suddenly seem to me a statement of silence and detachment as much as anything.