The Royal NoneSuch Gallery is pleased to present, I-Object, an exhibition of work by Laura Boles Faw, Justin Hoover, David Peña Lopera, and Kathryn Williamson, curated by Clark Buckner.
Since the 1960’s, with the rise of performance, social practice, and other ephemeral art forms, the art object frequently has been denigrated as calling only for contemplation or commodity consumption. Many have argued it should be renounced for the sake of a more dynamic, engaged – or even revolutionary – experience. However, in recent decades, such subversive rhetoric has grown shallow. The aesthetic revolutions it once informed have been fully accomplished in the pluralism of contemporary art; and now, rather than subversive, the claim to engage the world often seems to be only an excuse to embrace popular culture and affirm the status quo.
To the contrary, this show, I–Object, aims to celebrate and defend the art object as a site of resistance. Artworks interrupt our everyday involvements, calling for consideration of otherwise obscured phenomena. As objects, they object – articulating limits, failures, and other absences that resist simple social recuperation. And this object character persists even in art forms that originally were celebrated as transcending it – including performance, video, and installation. Despite their affinity with more commonplace artifacts and involvements, artworks distort or disrupt their conventional functions – providing newfound pleasures, compelling different modes of engagement, or indeed calling for contemplation!
While affirming the object character of artwork, this show thus simultaneously explores the diverse forms of objectivity in contemporary art. Justin Hoover’s “Ready Made Revolution,” presents the art object as a political intervention – a bomb! – with the power to provoke panic. Laura Boles Faw’s “Not An Exit” challenges the cliché that art provides a flight from reality, by explicitly refusing any out. David Peña Lopera’s “Form and Function” evokes entropy and death to explore the limits marked by aesthetic and physical form. And Kathryn Williamson’s performances involve transforming herself momentarily from subject to object – simply by collapsing in public.