Lucy Ives

The Poetics



Text by Lucy Ives. Photographs by Matthew Connors.

A superbly made hybrid photobook on the stories that objects invite us to tell.

In July of 2017, photographer Matthew Connors (born 1976) and novelist and critic Lucy Ives (born 1980) embarked on a strange project: to remove and catalog all the contents of Connors's car, a 1992 Volvo 240 station wagon.

Although the New York–based duo began the endeavor without knowing where it would lead, their investigation—of parts, tools, ephemera, litter, personal items, unidentifiable disjecta, among other objects—lasted more than two years and resulted in a series of photographs by Connors and an essay by Ives on narrative forms and temporalities inherent to contemporary media.

This collaborative publication, designed by Elana Schlenker, poses questions about where narrative originates and how we establish our stories in relation to the objects and timescales that carry, ground, and surround us.


"As an integrated artistic statement, this book is a sophisticated exercise in collaboration, trust, and creativity. The audience for The Poetics is definitely those who indulge in active reading, and who are intrigued by unconventional narrative structures – the book brings photographs and writing together in a clever way, making them interdependent. The book is also exciting in its mission of taking a simple, and somewhat amusing idea, and turning it into layered project with many more possibilities and discoveries than we might have guessed. It requires both reading and seeing, and rewards that combined effort with pleasing intricacy."

Collector Daily


Date: November 22, 2019

Publisher: Image Text Ithaca

Format: Print

Genre: Mixed; theory, memoir

Purchase here.


The Poetics.


From the car.


From the car.

1.74 MB (250 words) - 14:56, 3 May 2022