Tuesday, September 25, 2012

From My Workshop X:Final Call

From my Workshop X:
Final Call  

Imploded old barn, in the proximity of Långsjön,
Northern Bohuslän, southwestern Sweden.

One of the first – and most cited –  ready-mades was Marcel Duchamps Fontaine – a peace from a public urinoir ,brought out of its context,rotated 90 degrees and presented as a work of art 1917.It was preceded by the same artist’s bottledryer of 1914. The invention was followed by a great number of works in the same genre by some of the best artists of the twenties, among them Man Ray and Picasso. Actually,Duchamp’s work opened for an entire new line in the visual arts. Among more recent contributions are by such  artists as Josef Buys and Carl-Fredrik Reuterswärd. The terms ”Readymade” and ”Objet trouvée” are often used as synonyms, which is  the case in this presentation  .However,many artists, e.g. Nina Weitzner, make a distinction between natural objects (objets trouvées) and artifacts,which, taken out of their original context or use ,and brought into another ,take on a completely new significance,(ready-mades).To us,the distinction seems less important.The gist of the process is the fact that an existing object,given a new interpretation is taken out of a context and brought into another. An analogue,is a written sentence,taken out of its original text and brought into another.The operation is able to constitute a new carrier of meaning as effectively as the writing of a new sentence.
             We are dealing with a phenomenon at the very infinitely narrow edge of the semiosis ,the process where a something is enabled to cognitively substitute for something else.

”The moon” is different from the moon. The first is a string of signs and the second is a celestial body.They have absolutely nothing in common,but the referential relationship and nobody should be able to confuse them.
             The signifier could get much closer to the signified; think of a series of numbers 1,2,3,…refering to another part of the number continuum, say 4,5,6…Let s get still closer ! Lets consider a  case of cryptation,where 1,2,3..stands for 1,2,3…Not a very useful device but no doubt a case of cryptation,the zero case.By cryptation we might normally mean an operation where a structure,an ordered something is made to represent another structure.But can a structure encrypt itself ?
             An idea for a detective story would be a situation where some object or person of very great significance is hidden from those who pursue it by being placed in the most open,the possibly most accessible space.A trick which actually seems to have been used during house searches in totalitarian police states.
             In my book ”Gegen Null.Eine Mathemathische phantasie” (Sezession Verlag. 
Zürich und Berlin 2011) I  introduced the idea of a room – e.g. in a museal palace – which  represents itself.It seems that the very act of making the room into a representation of itself  - physically marked e.g. by putting up a rope which divides the museal space from the onlooker´s space – seems to turn the room into another room.
             My object Final Call is present in my workshop only as a (slightly processed) photography. So,in what sense could I claim it as mine ?  ? I  could not, and have no, wish to  bring it from its place.The legal and physical obstacles ,not to speak about the economic ones, would be considerable. The only support for such an inherent claim to include it in the From My Workshop series - just as if it were an object of my own production exposed in my workshop -  seems to be that I have performed the act of committing  the imploded barn in Bohuslän to portray itself. A performative act in the sense of the late J.L.Austin.[1]
             So in this work of art,the last to be described in my net anthology ”From my Workshop” the signified fills the signifyer to the outer rim,and there is nothing in the signified which could be completed.

[1] Actually the  present writer and later Richard Wollheim have, independently one of the other, suggested the expansion of Austin’s speach-act model to artistic and poetic acts.See e.g. Lars Gustafsson ”Om analysen av diktade satser” in ”Utopier och andra essäer om ”dikt” och ”liv” .Stockholm 1969. (In German by Carl Hanser 1970 under the title ”Utopien”.)

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