Introducing: International Objects. A platform dedicated to a central proposition: to diminish the categories that have kept art and design separate.
In its first exhibition, International Objects presents Local Objects, a field of works created by artists and designers who, with few exceptions, have produced their objects locally in the greater New York City area. In this exhibition, and in exhibitions to follow, we will provide evidence that within discourse, artists and designers work in parallel processes to produce objects that complicate the social structures and sign systems of their surrounding environments.
“I say then that the table as table is not animated, nor the clothes, nor the leather as leather, nor the glass as glass; but as natural things and composites they have within themselves matter and form. Let a thing be as small and diminutive as you like, it still possesses in itself a part of spiritual substance which, if it finds a suitable subject, becomes plant, becomes animal, and receives the members of one or other of the bodies that are commonly called animate; for spirit is found in all things and there is not the least corpuscle that doesn’t contain internally some portion that may become alive…
Ergo, quidquid est, animal est. [Then whatever is, is an animal.]”
— Giordano Bruno. Cause, Principle and Unity. 1584.
Objects are never passive, even if that is how we treat them. Whether utilitarian or static, natural or artificial, material or immaterial, animate or inanimate; objects act and are acted upon in relation to their landscape, material, and mode of production. The human relationship to objects is complicated by a value system that exists outside of the object itself. Objects produced en masse can be experienced as unique; objects produced locally are overwhelmed by objects produced from a great distance. Muddled by mechanisms of control and desire, objects are set into motion on wheels of commerce and are consumed by the social organizations that represent them. This misrepresentation often obscures the object’s origin or reproduction to instead highlight a mythological value.
Detached from its ethos, the object is transformed into a sign. Artists and designers of all disciplines, through observation and method, manipulate these taxonomies. Objects can be deconstructed, transformed and recombined to create objects anew. Artists and designers labor to sustain an active engagement with their subjects. With an understanding of the ontological confusion between objects and the sign systems that mask them, artists and designers work to destabilize and exploit the mediating functions that govern all things.
A sample of Local Objects:
A chair, chiseled with the impression of upholstered fabric.
A table, with sculpted undulations resembling a current.
A chair, shaped as a towering cavern, a rubber hollow.
A bed, with an interior room.
An alabaster apartment, the mass of its contents as measured in stone.
International Objects presupposes that each object speaks metaphorically of all others. Connected by the landscape, all objects evoke a system greater than themselves.
Andrew Erdos & Shawn Murrey
Charlotte vander Borght
Chen Chen & Kai Williams
Emily Mae Smith
Gerardo Ismael Madera
Ian L.C. Swordy
Lily Stav Gildor
Nick van Woert
Pam Lins & Halsey Rodman
Patrice Renee Washington
Patrick Carlin Mohundro
Raul De Lara
Savvy & Spolia
Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels
Wentrcek & Zebulon
A ‘Greater New York’ for Designers
Curbed, May 2023
When Is a Chair a Work of Art? A Bushwick Gallery Weighs In.
The New York Times, April 2023
This Clever New Gallery Collapses Creative Boundaries
SURFACE, April 2023
International Objects Contrives an Array of ‘Local Objects’ in Its Inaugural Show
STIRpad, April 2023
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