Issue 16 The Sea Winter 2004/05

Inventory / The Bible: 2,728 Objects in Order of Appearance

Emma Kay

“Inventory” is a column that examines or presents a list, catalogue, or register.

This list catalogues every individual object in the Bible in the order in which it appears. I defined an object as anything inanimate that can be moved. Animal carcasses or parts of the human body were included but I also included eggs and seeds, considering the status of these as objects to be more relevant for my purposes than the fact that they are in some sense animate. No given object is mentioned more than once, even if it is subsequently referred to in the text because it is still the same object. The list does, however, include multiple instances of the same type of object. For example, “Asherah pole” appears seven times in the list, since it is 
clear that these are all individual Asherah poles rather than repeated references to the same object. Hypothetical objects, such as those described in the visions of the prophets, are not included. The object is listed with its material properties, color, and dimensions where they are given.

Emma Kay is an artist based in London. She has recently had solo shows at Tate Modern; The Approach, London; UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and Chisenhale Gallery, London. Worldview, Kay’s history of the world from memory, was published by Book Works in 2000.

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