Art Essays , Art Books, Philosophers

Each object is Art

Antony Hudek

is a writer and senior lecturer at Liverpool school of art and Design, he is also the translator of the works done by Jean-Francios Lyotard, one of the famous writer on the contemporary art, co-publisher of occasional papers and independent curator and the research he was conducting on objects belonged to UCL Museums and collections. Later on, he has elaborated and deconstructed the objects and their role in our daily life and as an art.

He was born in Geneva, After the study of Visual Art, he took his interest in art history and after PhD, Hudek was a researcher at many Jan Van Eyck Academie, and AHRC Research Fellow at Camberwell College of Arts. His research and theory on the objects are remarkable and necessary to understand if you are working on objects as an artist.

Introduction/ Detours of Objects 

Objects can represent and they always do, the complexity of understanding this phenomenon is defining, simply what is an object? Each object is a thing as Jean-Francois suggests this maxim but everything is not an object. It enables the conclusion to come in the view if we depart the thing from the object. It has not much exposition about the identities and relationship with one another.   Signifying more necessary the thing has been located as potentially more comprehensive than the object. For Martin Heidegger, one of the best-known philosopher to have determined the meaning of thing (ding). it differs from the object that is independent, self-supporting. Taking the example of a jug, Martin describes the thing as certain of its independence, its presence as well as intimacy. objects, on the other hand, are everywhere in equal measures, neither near nor far. The Martin Thing, in its self-composure, resists appropriation, use and representation. Most notably by science, modernity, novelty and capitalism. in another register, that of Jacques Lacan.s Psychoanalysis, thing similarly resists; it stands, he says, outside of language and consciousness: the Ding is the true secret. Thus the object as thing stands apart, running the risk of being cancelled out by the rational subject who believe erroneously in the uniform accessibility of objects.

objects are not reducible to the material, perceptible and consumable goods we commonly refer to as, objects. The world of objects, however ‘ ordinary’ is a trove of disguise, shields, subterfuges, provocations and triggers that no singular, embodied and knowledgeable subject can exhaust. This is why artists have a say in any discussion of the objects plurivocality since the artwork is the prime example of the object’s capacity to evade the knowing grasp.

The study of objects through the perspective of art and through the words of artists allows one to see how complex the world of ordinary and less ordinary objects and thing truly is. The texts by anthropologists and philosophers, psychoanalysis, sociologists and writers in the present collection in many cases broach this key question, namely of the exemplarity of the art object to elucidate the multifacetedness of objects and things in general.

This view of objects partaking in a complex world of varying textures and densities strays from the conventional understanding of the object as guage of reality and truth. The idea that object is the yardstick of objectivity is perhaps most clearly formulated in Thomas Aquinas’ famous proposition that truth can be verified by the conformity between a thing and the intellect; the closer the conformity the closer the thinking subject is to the truth and if the objects are the measure of truth, then perceiving objects that are not there or imagining impossible, virtual and fictional objects, belongs to the realm of error and pathology.

Once admitted that objects can be many things, including tools, imaginary constructs, artworks even the other subjects. how to interpret’ define’, in objects define us? do objects define us by catering to our needs as users, consumers or collectors, and by limiting our movements by their physical properties.? This interpretation assumes the primacy of the object’s function in a world dependent on the human capacity to define her his environment. But ‘define’ can equally mean the opposite: objects define us because they come first, by commanding our attention, even our respect, they exist before us possibly without us.

The last version of objects defines us-where us become an answer to the multiplicity and collectivity of objects and things inviting us into their midst-is a far cry from Immanuel Kant’s Copernican revolution. whereby subjects no longer attempt to conform to existing objects. But rather possess the necessary a priori knowledge to understand and perceive the object. Kant thus positions the subjects as the anchor of the object’s apprehension.; beyond the categories of human understanding, the object remains out of reach. A thing itself by contrast at the turn of the twentieth century, Edmund Husserl dismissed the existence of the thing in itself that would lie beyond the subject’s international grasp, since for him objects can only be perceived through their phenomena. His phenomenological call, To the things themselves is not to be limited to material things, however as it extends to the modes of the givenness of objects to consciousness, regardless of their nature. with Heidegger’s grappling with something like an autonomous thing in itself -object’s; thingliness’  and lacans identification of the thing as withholding a secret unavailable to objects as well as subjects, the thing as blind spot seems to have become simultaneously closer and further from the perceptual mastery of the subject.

Since the turn of the 21st century, the awareness of the objects or things unknowable proximity, or avowed distance- that is, its capacity to define us to become before us has steadily gained ground in the theoretical and philosophical discourses. Bill Brown’s influential collection Thing Theory from 2001 brought the thing squarely within the realm of academic knowledge, even though it lies beyond the grid of intelligibility, outside the order of objects. There was an exhibition in 2005 organized by Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel, Making Things Public, Atmospheres of Democracy at ZKM in Karlsruhe. The exhibition sought to implement a Dingopolitik inspired by Heidegger’s Thing, where things would become heralds of a political call for less reliance on objects and matters of fact and greater faith in the matter of concern. A year later French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux Published, After Finitude in which he denounced the presupposed correlation between thinking and being, subject and object in most philosophy from Kant onwards what he terms Correlationism. in 2007 a seminar was brought together in Goldsmiths college which brought together four main proponents of what would be called ‘speculative realism’. Meillassoux, Graham Harman, Ray Brassier and Lian Hamilton Grant, Harman is of particular interest, as his defence of an object-oriented ontology is deeply indebted to Heidegger and Husserl whereas Heidegger saw objects as dehumanizing force masking the thingliness of the thing, we have now entered, with speculative realism of speculative materialism for Meillassoux, a world where the object whether a thing, tool, commodity, though, phenomenon or living creature has regained its rights, freed from the subjects’ determining mind, body and gaze.

The energy with which the contemporary art world has embraced the speculative realism and object-oriented ontology should not blind us either to their immediate philosophical precedents. such as so-called Actor-network theory from the 1980s and subsequent work by Bruno Latour in Particular, nor to the other numerous other strands of thoughts associated with the poststructuralism that subscribe to the view of the world as a series of events in flux, rather than revolving around the thinking human subject. Nor too, should enthusiasm for the elision of the subject blind us to other traditions, mostly in westerns which for centuries have invested the object with unique properties, many of which are only faintly discernible to the subject.

This collection aims to highlight the diversity of objects and thinks in the subject-object relationship, this relationship itself remains important for many of the authors featured here in this article. indeed the focus on the object productively unmoors and destabilized the subject, rather than simply doing away with it. Many of the following texts reflect on the object impact on the subject and how the end depends on the former for her or his consistency and coherence.

Conversely, on observes that whenever the limits of the subject are probed-as in certain mystical or animistic traditions, philosophies premised on the collective rather than the individual or in psychoanalysis, the object loses its focus and stability. Instead of a one-to-one relationship, therefore this article and book describe various detours around, between and through the object, led by subjects as well as other objects. While Joelle Tuerlinckx refers to deviated objects- but what this collection of texts underlines is the artist’s privileged role in rerouting, recycling, deviating, transforming and returning (if such a verb could be derived from detour as in the french the object. This role is far from one of mastery or subjectivity; rather it hints at a capacity to inhabit the object world, to engage with and translate it for the benefit of other objects and subjects alike.

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