Is it finished?
Most artists have been confronted with the question: When do you consider a work to be finished? Marcel Duchamp proposed that “the creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualification and thus adds his contribution to the creative act.” (Schwabsky 2016:ix) This idea was usually paraphrased as “the viewers complete the work.”
Material experience connects us to our fellow human beings. An object embodies stories and carries not only the memories of its own history, but may offer a refraction of the viewer’s life story. ‘Objects inscribe the memory of previous generations’. (Smith quoted in Adamson 2018, 108) Objects ground us in our everyday lives and act as reminders of our shared humanity. Material awareness reminds us that the physical world is as networked and interconnected as is the digital world.
Artists Consuelo Simpson and Celeste C. da Luz bring together a mixed media show to challenge the idea through using a variety of medium and objects. Consuelo’s work Nexus evokes the interconnections of objects and histories. Objects held within the meshwork invite the viewer to animate the piece.
Seeing her work as a dialogue, Celeste provides an opportunity for both works to communicate and react with each other. Both works aim to go beyond the recognisable connotation of the material itself through the viewer’s imagination and personal experience.
Adamson, G. (2018) Fewer Better Things. New York, London, Oxford, New Delhi, Sydney: Bloomsbury
Bennett, J. (2010) Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things. Durham: Duke University Press.
Schwabsky, B. (2016) The Perpetual Guest. New York: Verso.