I found this grouping of missing children posters in a convenience store window on Ashland and Augusta.
At first I was hesitant to use this for the assignment because of the serious/sad nature of the subject matter, but I was curious about how this collection operated in relation to many of the consumer/product driven collections that we have been discussing. Also, I found the idea of collecting something that is missing (although I realize that’s not exactly what’s going on here) to be very interesting.
When the posters are hung together, they become a collection of missing children images and statistics. The public display of the posters functions not only as a exhibition of artifacts, but as a way of distributing information, with a very specific goal in mind.
I did not feel comfortable talking to the store owner about the posters, but I was interested in knowing more about his motivations in posting this selection, how/where he gets the posters, if they were brought to him, if he himself prints them out from the missing children website, and if so how he chooses which ones to post and if he ever takes any of the posters down. Many of the children had been missing since the early nineties, while some were missing as recently as a few months ago. Most of the posters had been folded and/or damaged in some way, which makes me doubt that they were printed out specifically for display in this window.
As a final note, I found the juxtaposition of the posters to the “Protected, Security…” sticker on the window to be quite unsettling.