The Object

The object is a charged concept, a well of information and a container for memory. Whether it’s unique or mass-produced, sacred or everyday, an art object defines more than its own status: It defines the status of the work and at the same time the status of its perception. Whether it is picked for its banality (Camnitzer, Peter Fischli & David Weiss), for its status (Thomas Huber), for its aesthetic quality (Jan Groover), or its power of metaphoric evocation (Wim Delvoye, Gotscho), it makes possible the subversion, and even superposition of meaning.

The object is never neutral matter, and thanks to its popular, urban dimension, it creates a widely accessible universe. Consumer society, industrial production of objects, their disposable character, their omnipresence, the mass production as well as the loss of aura have fascinated artists and transfigured objects. Divested of their “use value,” related one to another outside the mercantile logic, they take on the value of signs generating a new language capable of revealing their polysemy.

No longer relegated to the genre of still life, objects usher the ordinary into the artistic sphere. As a result, reality becomes a material and the medium of the work. Improved matter, commonplace material or homage to the everyday, the object exceeds its context and modifies its function in order to transform the banal into art and/or inscribe art in a newly discovered banality.

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