Hoarding as Art: What You Didn't See on Oprah

Today, Oprah Winfrey spent her entire show speaking with participants from the A&E's reality program Hoarders. Hoarders profiles families who's homes have been overcome by clutter, and brings in professional organizers to try and help clear a literal and metaphorical path through all the accumulated crap. The show is ... terrifying, especially for those of us with a giant junk drawer full of old class photos, broken pencils, dead batteries, and faded receipts overflow that we just can't seem to clear out.

NEWSWEEK's Sarah Kliff wrote a great piece a few months ago on artists inspired by hoarded objects, often collected by family members. According to Kliff:

artists are using different mediums to find answers, to sort out why exactly their parents saved so many things. [Artist Song Dong] became more concerned about his mother's collecting after the sudden death of his father in 2002. "She not only held on to everything, but also left these things scattered everywhere," Dong wrote in a 2005 article about "Waste Not." Frugality, he says, became a way to mourn, to fill such a vast, empty space. "I understand her need to fill the space with those daily-life objects more as a need to fill the emptiness after my father's death," says.

Check out the video profile of Dong above. If you're still feeling a little creeped out by all the bags, boxes, and papers overwhelming the homes in which Oprah's guests live, seeing the trash spread out in organized, color-coded lines of Dong's exhibit is a calming palette cleanser.

Hoarding as Art: What You Didn't See on Oprah | Analysis