Tuesday, September 16, 2014


Pierre Huyghe, „Untilled“, 2012, dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, installation view

“Untilled” resisted its own smooth functioning, producing a theater of meaning’s ruin; its collapse into compost.

In her view, the icon, like Huyghe’s “Untilled”, instantiates a kind of ecology. The icon restages this becoming-image belatedly for the worshipper, which is why Mondzain can declare, “the icon is nothing other than the economy of the image.” [4]

This economy is what Huyghe calls a situation.

As I have already stated, such an operation occurs whenever one looks at an artwork or any visual artifact, but Huyghe’s work assertively resists synthesis, whereas a Raphael Madonna or a Byzantine icon, or for that matter an appropriated photograph by Richard Prince or Sherrie Levine, makes sophisticated use of mimesis in order to guide the viewer toward a stable representation.

To speculate on image economies in this way is also to interrupt commercial business as usual, which does everything in its power to cause the production of images – say your impression of a laundry detergent – to correspond closely to the material advertisements scripted to sell that product. In short, the ideology of the medium is the ideology of the market (which is why, after all, modernist painting sells so well in galleries and auction houses).

Pierre Huyghe, „A Way in Untilled“, 2012, film still

The Occupy movement was criticized precisely for its refusal to represent – a program, a constituency, or a party. But such refusal brings into being an entire image economy where what Nancy calls disputation can surge into visibility and recalibrate what counts as politics in art.


Sunday, September 7, 2014