APPLICATIONS: MIMETIC OBJECTS
objet de désir ©
Below you will find applications to the art theory of Stefan Beyst
Ever more examples will be added until there is a complete overview of
the most important forms of mimetic objects.
If you want to be notified of new additions, just
with the mention 'applications'.
PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)
From Picasso stems the paradigmatic example of a mimetic object: the
bull's head from 1943. Through their combination, two real objects
- the handlebars and the saddle of a bicycle - become the medium for the
appearance of another object: a bull's head.
In other works, Picasso integrates real objects in three-dimensional
imitations. The thereby become the medium of the appearance of a part of
the imitated object. Already in the time of Cubism, Picasso integrated
real newspapers in his collages and a real absinth spoon in his 'absinth
glass'. The paradigmatic example here are the vases that are
transformed into the udders of a goat (1950).
MAX ERNST (1891-1976)
From the twenties onward, Max Ernst integrates real objects in two-dimensional painting in
which they are integrated as mimetic objects (Vogel im Käfig,
1963). He also integrates real objects in sculptures from the fifties
onward, although they are often executed in bronze afterwards. Good
examples are Capricorn (1947) and 'Microbe vu à
travers un tempérament' (1964).
MERET OPPENHEIM (1913-1885)
Méret Oppenheim is renown for her 'Déjeuner
en fourrure', that belongs to the surrealistic design. Totally different
is 'Ma gouvernante' (1936). Through their being displayed on a dish and
through the addition of paper decorations on the high heels, a pair of
shoes is transformed into a bondaged body that takes the appearance of
genitals: un 'objet de
désirs' of diverse perverse impulses. This is genuine three-dimensional
Arman is renown from his accumulations, which are not imitations, but just
('object exposé"). Only in accumulations like
'Les Chromosomes' (1963) does the title make
us read the forks as animated beings, which are moving like sperm. The
forks are thus transformed into something else as what they are. We are
dealing here, hence, with - not all too convincing - mimesis.
Many objects and actions of Beuys are non-verbal statements, which are
dealt with in 'Art or statement'.
Other installations or assemblages of Beuys are genuine imitations. That
is the case when real objects are combined in a way that could not occur
in the real world and hence conjure up an imaginary world. A good
example is 'Das Rudel'
(1969), that can be regarded as a kind of theatre with real objects rather
than with actors.
BRIAN JUNGEN (°1970)
The Canadian artist Brian Jungen became famous with his
Prototypes of New Understanding
(1998-2003), a series of masks
assembled from parts of Nike shoes. He also uses other elements, such as
plastic chairs. Although Brian Jungen refers to Duchamp and Warhol, his
creations are not non-verbal statements, but genuine
mimesis, rather in the vein of Picasso's
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Referrers: Goncourt's Blog