I’ll confess. Some years ago we bought a small thing (cupboard knobs?) from Restoration Hardware. The thing wasn’t in stock, so we had to order it for delivery. Sounds fine, right? But no, not fine. That got us on to Restoration Hardware’s catalogue-from-hell mailing list, from which it is impossible to escape. The catalogue is massive, and I hate it for 27 different reasons.
So imagine my delight at finding Desecration Hardware (Project Introduction) over at The New Inquiry. It begins:
Yesterday, there was something in the mailbox for me. Something enormous, unexpected, unrequested, and ghastly.
It is called the Restoration Hardware Fall 2012 Sourcebook. Until this moment, I didn’t know what a Restoration Hardware is. For starters, it is very large.
It involves three pieces, one of which is 690 pages of paper, one is 154, and the third is only one free floating page but makes reference to how ecologically sound the collective existence of the other 744 pages is. Currently without the kind of scale on which one might weigh marijuana or robin feathers, I am limited to estimating, but it feels about the weight of one human hand and the majority of a forearm. A large hand, a large arm.
Judging by the sheer dazzling size of the object, I assumed that I had, whilst drunk one evening, resubscribed to Art Forum – in order to stay up on the advertising formats and fonts currently preferred by the art world – which alone could explain a chunk of shiny paper that size appearing in the mailbox, threatening to collapse the whole thing beneath its obscene heft. Alas, I haven’t been drunk for a while. Stranger, still: the address to which this thing came is one I barely use anymore, in a town and state where I no longer live. As for what prompted the decision to send such an arcane mass, I can only imagine that Restoration Hardware is self-authorizing and self-propelling, rather like the murderous robot in Richard Stanley’s underwatched, cyberpunky, and appropriately named – for this instance, at least – 1990 film Hardware: an autonomous assemblage of bile and cunning that roams the earth looking for energy sources and, in the case of the Restoration model of the Hardware, domestic spheres to infiltrate and decimate. [continue]
It gets better: the author has come up with a way to use the stupid catalog.
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