A SINGULAR FORM
In A Singular Form, Pablo Lafuente puts the art object as such front and center. The exhibition brings together works of art and everyday objects and combines them in a display specifically developed for the occasion. The resulting arrangement opens up an intellectual space for potential uses and meanings that go beyond those usually assigned to the contemporary art object. The pieces Lafuente has chosen not only reveal their origin by virtue of their mere materiality, suggesting a particular approach to their objecthood in the sense of a determinate functionality; they also hint at a release from such exemplary determinations. In A Singular Form, this emancipation happens in at least three ways: through the contemplation of the pieces as aesthetic objects, their use, and their transformation into images.
The critical engagement with the form and ostensible meaning of an art object is a generic and at once abstract undertaking. The exhibition makes it concrete by focusing on sculptural form, while also enacting a displacement from the sculptural to the functional idea. This shift illustrates that the material structures of the objects are part of a changing network of relations or a sequence of activities (such as contemplation, action, use, and transformation) in which they serve in turn as catalysts, expedients, or basis.
Pablo Lafuente challenges us to rediscover the object as the foundation for an aesthetic experience and frames the following core questions: How concrete or how specific can an object of mediation be? And to what extent can it be abstracted and made generic? The exhibition A Singular Form offers answers to these questions with a variety of objects, including Peter Madsen's reconstruction of the mast (mastefisk) of a Viking ship; a number of photographic contact prints from Asger Jorn and Gérard Franceschi's project 10,000 Years of Nordic Folk Art; a Venetian rowlock (fórcola); a video installation by Hilary Lloyd; Martha Araújo's wearable geometric canvas; a 'portable' sculpture by Bruno Munari; a stretcher from Brazil; a wallpaper and sculpture by Dustin Ericksen; and a number of sculptural pieces and display units by Asier Mendizabal. The display frames and organizes these objects as both things and images in order to heighten their potential agency—a power that dissolves fixed attributions of function and thus also alters the conditions under which life can occur around them.
Pablo Lafuente was born in Spain in 1976 and lives in London.
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