There is more to an object than meets the eye. This is a claim central to Jane Bennett’s theory of vital materialism. In her essay “The Force of Things”, the American political theorist and philosopher explores the subject-object relationship as a way of enlivening the debate over what materiality is and does. She proposes that objects have a “thing-power”, that is, “the lively energy and/or resistant pressure that issues from one material assemblage and is received by others”. Put differently: Objects have a transcendental power by virtue of a thingness that exceeds concretisation. This means that if we go beyond the signification-induced personhood or agency of objects, we are able to experience the inner nature of things.
The enduring power of things is the leitmotif of this exhibition. Each object has its history, origin and time – be it a ceramic by Shoji Hamada or a drawing by Harriet Korman: Everything possesses its own “thing-power”.
Artists on show: Adolphe Braun, Heinz Butz, Mark Francis, Anna Friedel, Shoji Hamada, Harriet Korman, Leonard Laganowski, Sol LeWitt, Paul Wolf & Alfred Tritschler, Tsukioka Yoshitoshi & a selection of ancient Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Cambodian ceramics.