‘Katalogus’ is about the sale of items on Marktplaats (a Dutch Craigslist). I started researching the ads placed there and discovered that many people use their pets and children to demonstrate items or to make their products look more desirable.

It’s interesting to see how people advertise themselves/pets/objects for different purposes. What does this do to the feeling of the picture? For example: the pictures of dogs on dog fanatic websites look exactly the same as the dogs for sale on Marktplaats, but they have a completely different purpose.

At this point in my research I started involving the descriptions of the items as well. It turns out that people sometimes reveal very personal information about themselves in these ads. Not only can I see their babies, pets, furniture, and where they live (this totality gives me an impression of how they live their daily lives), they also tell me they sell an item because they just won a better version, or because they’re too old to be able to use it anymore.

Then I stumbled upon the realm of dating ads of lonely people. One woman in particular practically explained her whole life story. She lost her husband and did not enjoy life as much as she used to, so she was looking for a new partner to spend the rest of her life with.

Keeping the idea of the different underlying stories of pictures in mind, I decided to base my project on this woman’s ad.

‘Katalogus’ is a catalogue with the collected items I found on Marktplaats, placed into a new narrative. When you start reading, it gradually becomes more clear that this is not just stuff from a number of people. It’s all furnishing and other belongings from one woman who wants to make a new beginning by selling her late husbands stuff. In the end she’ll tell you her lifestory, and how she’s looking for a new man.