98 objects found in my mother-in-law's basement

Kris Vervaeke

2019 - 2020


I photograph objects found in people's basements. A surprising collection of prosthetic devices, dysfunctional tools, tooth brushes, 20-year-old cans of food, old toaster, decapitated toys, to a single shoe. Through these kept items a portrait of an era emerges, everyday objects as a capsule of time of society. A society that today is rapidly changing.


Ordinary objects,


the smallest elements of society, the most basic things,

remnants of social aspiration and technological development,

the undercurrents of an era.

Seemingly irrational, the safeguarding of things,

almost absurd,

and yet we all somehow share an emotional connection,


as we evolve further into our throwaway society

and into our extended digital selves.


'98 objects found in my mother-in-law's-basement' offers an almost forensic photographic record of an era. By isolating the objects away from the basement and its clutter, they regain a unique individual value. Repurposed on stage, they become the stuff of thought, protagonists of a million new stories. Claude Lévi-Strauss is validated: ’Objects are what matter. Only they carry the evidence that throughout the centuries, something really happened among human beings'

The project originally started out in the basement of my mother-in-law and expanded from there (hence the title) . Images of 450 objects from over 20 basements (at various locations in Belgium) are available.

Produced in 2019 and just finished. Not published or exhibited yet.

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  • Brick (Genk)

  • Wine bag (Antwerp)

  • Shoe (Wolvertem)

  • Plumb bob (Oud-Heverlee)

  • Monitor (Leuven)

  • Knight (Bouchout)

  • Wood pieces (Brasschaat)

  • Chocolate egg (Berchem)

  • Razor (Genk)

  • Fryer (Genk)

  • Electronics part (Leuven)

  • Plastic covers (Brussels)

  • Crucifix (Oud-Heverlee)

  • Dentures (Bouchout)

  • Socks (Kapellen)

  • Formol (Antwerp)

  • Wig (Ostend)

  • Negatives (Mortsel)

  • Box (Brussels)

  • Watch (Merksem)