I was invited to respond visually to the concept of value in the context of a special issue of the London International Law Review devoted to the topic.

I felt compelled to start at the most basic question: what is the relationship between the concept of value and any collection, including an academic special issue? I started with a hunt for visual clues in that most prolific of London international collections, the British Museum, and I never fully left (although I did experiment with playmobile for a time)

Key influences in the form and content of the final piece were John Berger’s documentary series and book (1972, especially as seen through the eyes of Michael Rock in 2011) both entitled Ways of Seeing:

Another significant influence was a quote from designer Jan Van Toorn quoted in Poyner 2008 (p. 38):

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Below are some images from my initial visit to the British Museum that did not make it into the final version. In taking these photographs I was trying to capture how we show value: through memorialising, gift giving, quantity, insurance, repairing and labelling.

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Whilst in the museum I experimented with creating a visual language for the concept of value, which I did not pursue.


The final submitted author version of the piece can be seen here and the published version  is accessible at:

Perry-Kessaris, A. (2016). Collecting value/valuing collectingLondon Review of International Law [Online] 4:211-214.

Berger, J. (1972) Ways of Seeing Penguin
Poynor, R. (2008) Jan Van Toorn: Critical Practice 010 Publishers

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