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Two identical panties worn by Tim Kelly and Arvida Byström. Once off and sealed in plastic, no one to knows who worn which.
Photography and art pieces by Arvida Byström from Charlotte Cullen’s show Intimates’ index. 2013.

A pair of used panties in need of a wash is in its material sense useless. With the same perspective you could argue that when the painting is dry, the plaster is rock hard or the film exposed, it is no longer usable and should therefor have the purchase value less than its raw materials put together.

Although, on the right platform, used panties rise in value along with a buyers will to fetishize the object and its seller. When compared with artifacts and their sometimes absurd prices, the idea that your used panties is actually worth something more than a wash, brings a disturbing feeling about what capitalism is actually about.

You as a person behind the objects serve as the factor of raising the price from their raw material value. Even though you can hide your face behind a created brand, you still get encouraged to strive to be worth someones money.

How will this altering of the perfect person mold us as beings? What does it make of us to know we have to alter the person behind the objects to make a bigger profit, the profit that society tells us we need to make? How can we reclaim the ownership over our own objects, and in that sense also our bodies, from the capitalistic societies fetishizing power?

Text by Hanna Antonsson, Arvida Bystrom and Charlotte Cullen for Charlotte Cullen’s “Intimates’ Index” at Gal.