Adopted Objects: Hauntology

“Ghosts arrive from the past and appear in the present.” Ghosts of the site and its former residents have become the focus of the so-called spectral approach in humanities and social sciences.

Based on his personal experience and research, anthropologist Daniel Miller has analyzed the sense of “being haunted” by objects often reported by residents of British homes. He has observed that in many cases the objects seem to have agency in their surrounding space.

Adapted Objects

Newsprint found in the flat’s ceiling during renovation, mounted and framed
courtesy of Magda and Łukasz Woziński

A newspaper from 1928 tucked into the ceiling was the first thing found during the renovation of a flat newly bought by Magda and Łukasz Wodziński. This is how they have learnt that the building was erected the late 1920s and not in the 1930s as the flat’s previous owner maintained. In addition to pieces of newsprint, they also found an old map and partially preserved business card. Not for a moment did they think of disposing of these items. “We took care to preserve these souvenirs of former residents” – Magda says. They decided to frame them “to keep alive the spirit of bygone times.” Two newspaper fragments, framed and mounted on glass so that the front and back can both be seen, are hung above the kitchen table which is the centre of family life.

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