As both stylized vouchers of attendance and takeaway tokens from impactful cultural events, souvenirs are among the few tangible relics of bygone experiences. Though gift shops exist in both kitschy and self-serious incarnations, the ideal contemporary souvenir resides comfortably between both realms, adding an element of physicality to life-enriching moments. Books and magazines propose an open-ended prolongation of the creative stimulus offered by a curated space, while posters and other mementos offer self-contained aesthetic value that can be at once memory-triggering and identity-affirming. Scaling down larger ideas into commodities without compromising artistic intent, the souvenir elevates the idea of a possession beyond a clear-cut practical function, attesting to the way in which context has an irrevocable impact on value. Bringing a coveted one-of-a-kind sensibility to an endless scope of objects and offering a further glimpse into the artistic process, the souvenir is an exercise in concretizing the abstract.
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