Contradictions

Tutorial with Beatrice Lettice Boyle (RCA)

(Object Related Ontology)

Myself and Beatrice spoke about my control in constructing the frameworks within which I make my work. We discussed the control I take in placing narrative on, and importance in the objects I choose. Insofar, I have demonstrated the inherently true information which derives from my limestone, and its replica casts. Yet I also have the right to apply inaccurate and false importance upon the object, just because I can. This may be considered absurd, unnecessary and a contradiction to the work I have already made. Maybe this is a contradiction that I should enable and exploit?

When I propose a constructed theory of a thing, I am proposing a distrust of my constructed theory of a thing. This is a contradiction, that I have not accurately communicated so far. In privilege of a conversational practice, I must enable contradictory dialogue to reflect the conflicting nature of philosophy, as well as my attitude towards art making.

Contradictions take form in frictions or gaps between language and objects. Where there is friction, there is conflict, and there is rationality in opposition with absurdity.

Intentionality in opposition with ‘stupidity’.

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Behind this shimmering but valueless field, a seated figure was obsessively ringing her hands in a felt hat full of honey. The action, later echoed in the hand-washing of ‘passion’, was suggestive of the sort of exaggerated behavioural traits described by Judith Rapoport in her book on the experience and treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder. Tyrannised by doubt, the obsessive-compulsive’s life is dominated by senseless repetition and ritual. Normal daily procedures such as washing – normally associated with the socialising aspects of animal grooming patterns, good health, kinship acceptability, rites of purity and group ritual to protect against danger – become the sole line of defence against the nightmare of contamination. Significantly it is the permeability of the skin which is the focus for so much of the anxiety of the boy who could not stop washing (the title of the book) and it is the viscosity and stickiness of the honey that presented the greatest phobic threat: ‘Stickiness’, Satre said, ‘is halfway between solid and liquid. It is soft yielding, and a trap. It clings like a leech and attacks the boundaries between oneself and it. Columns of stickiness falling from my hand, he said, suggest my own substance is flowing into a pool of stickiness’. Violating the boundary between the inside and outside, the honey threatens to turn the entire skin into a permeable border, which like the mouth becomes an indeterminate space, both source of pleasure and site of phobia and taboo. 

Ann Hamilton, Mneme, page 23 (in reference to Hamilton’s ‘privation and excesses’). 

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‘privation and excesses’ Capp Street Project  San Francisco, California 1989

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