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Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Janne Teller's Pierre Anthon and his object-oriented classmates

In the last day of our last month's exhibition o.o (object-oriented) we had a closing debate about what we had there. The debate was very nice and moved slowly through the patient objects of Francis Ponge (brought up by Gê Orthof) to the allagmatics that make objects acquire the status of stability and the appearance of being in themselves. My friend Luciana finally managed to hear the whole 9 minutes of the recording one hears inside the coffin of the piece by Victor and me, No Object. She came back to the discussion saying that she finally understood what the whole exhibition was about. In No Object, one enters the coffin and hears a nine minutes collection of extracts from Janne Teller's Nothingness. Luciana then said: this exhibition, with all these objects in a gallery, is a true pile of meaning. In fact, this is what an object is, an item in a pile of meanings - outside the pile it makes sense because it is inserted in a context that gives it a sense. In the pile, an object is no more than something that is alive in a network, it is maybe there playing the strangeness of being part of a context even while it has a withdrawn element that leads it to death. In fact, my friend Aharon asked me the other day what would be a dead object. Well, that's an answer: a dead object is an object removed from any connection that gives it credentials to be in the pile of meanings - the pile of meaning is the object's coffin. Objects are alive when they are in the middle of a complicated allagmatics of relating their vicissitudes with those of the rest of the network. They die when they are moved away and put in a pile. In a gallery, or in MOMA... Objects don't get to be moved alive outside the network to which they happen to be connected.

In this sense, No Object is a key for all objects - they die without relations and they are strangers in a world that put them to play with other agents. They are amphibious like this: they are hubs in a network, but they transcend the network for they could be somewhere else. This is the trans-world-ness objects display. To be dead, for an object, is to have no place. (One can also imagine a pile of events or occurrences, and then it becomes clear that death is complete withdrawal from all networks.) In the plum tree, Pierre Anthon is withdrawn, is moved away, he is put in a pile. But in the tree, he still preserves his meta-stability as an agent (and not a network). It is in the border - just like objects in an exhibition.

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