18 janv. 2011


Title of book : SPUTNIK post-post-object as neo-post-object

ISBN : 978-2-912939-03-6

Author(s) : Aav (pseudonym for Allen Alain Viguier)

Language : english

Number of pages : 74

SPUTNIK post-post-object as neo-post-object

Neo-avantgarde non-object or post-object works are known to have ended being treated as objects or as commodities as it was then said. Aav sees the successful side of non-art's failure in resisting institutional integration as he examines the critical implications of these works in the art context. Not only have these works changed the museum context and the "artworld", they have also transformed curatorial practices; turning them into a casuistry based in an aesthetic relation to each work.

Extending the avantgarde idea of an active and productive receiver, he opens the interactive field of the work to practices that are engaged in showing, restoring, conserving, documenting, publicizing, etc., and in doing this he opens the work's site and public space beyond the division between the white cube and the secondary space of the museum machine, and between spectator and actor.

As Aav develops the concept of a "maintenance frame" and of a "SpectActor" he defines "object art" outside an object which appears as a sort of self-enclosed-zero-individual (solipsist, atomic and empty). Malevitch's sputnik, piloted by Ad Reinhardt and landed into "real space" by the early Frank Stella who turned it into non-art, now making a "return". But the paradox is that this object becomes a condition for a contextualist opening. He sees it working as " a sort of machine that has all its parts on the outside". This is the side on which object art is to be found. An aesthetic of the object is supplemented with an aesthetic of its transindividual and collective field of exteriority, as the artist puts it. It is a field that cannot be confused with prevalent notions of context in art theory. Accounting for a radical discontinuity between an object's inside and outside (a limit that cannot be outlined) becomes a way of bridging the gap between between art and (institutional) context by observing their correlations. It then becomes possible to transfer this paradigm to other works while asking the same question: how do you relate to a thing in order to have it as the thing it is?

After their long and productive divorce, the object (limited, finished) and the non-object (unlimited, unfinished) are no longer exclusive of each other but are two moments in a same process. 0bject art is not set in an opposition to non-object art. This can be seen as a continuation of the project of the modernist and postmodernist avantgardes of dynamic receivership, un-limitation, non-art, aesthetic use value and so on. Betrayal is the price for loyalty. It is a continuation of a pragmatic and materialist tradition that has become systemic and constructivist within art as a place of illusion and tricks.

As with any artist's writing on his/her work, discourse is what you can dispense with once you have got the work working. The theory is then in what the work does and not in what is said about it. But this text is also an occasion to revisit theories that underlie current art practices. The object / context reconfiguration entails a cascade of shifts within key concepts in art theory while reawakening them to their initial meanings.

The text was written simultaneously in French and English, less as a translation from a language to another than as an extension of each other when words can not really be translated.

Louise Norton