Student Show: This is Not an Object

Naromie André, MA History of Design & Curatorial Studies, and Margaux Salgado, undergraduate BFA Art, Media & Technology, teamed up for This Is Not An Object April 29- May 3rd in the Parsons Paris Gallery.

French poet Francis Ponge once wrote: “our soul is transitive. It needs an object that affects it, immediately, like a direct complement.” This quote thus translates into grammatical terms the complex dialectics between the object and the subject, between the material world and us.

The exhibition ‘This is not an object’ is an attempt to translate that meditation into curatorial terms. Which came first, the tool or the hand? The plinth or the artwork? Do they need one another to fully exist?

The hand of the artist is usually admired, if not fetishised, for it brings to life what once was inert and formless. But what if the hand itself is the object? Margaux Salgado’s black on black prints require a closer examination as a series to discover hands that couldn’t possibly hold, grasp or wave anymore: those hands are petrified fragments of sculptures or casts. Each print awaits the viewer to add the appropriate caption: “this is not a hand”.

Naromie André’s installation is a reflection on the two most discussed curatorial apparatus of the 20th century: the plinth and the white cube. Her golden chamber and black plinths playfully reveal the ideological implications of their original counterparts. Indeed, Marcel Duchamp and most modernist avant-garde groups had the intention of blurring the boundaries between art and life. They created objects that were meant as weapons to bring down the wall between the two realms. The backlash that followed is well-known: once on a plinth, in a white cube, any object becomes a work of art, a fetish, and eventually a commodity. Subverting the codes of conceptual art and institutional critique, Ceci n’est pas une plinth, stages a sort of retro-futuristic black mass for the viewer to experience this irony of history.





Left to right: Emmanuel Guy (Program Director MA History of Design & Curatorial Studies), Alison Carey (Gallery Manager), Margaux Salgado (sophomore BFA Media, Art & Technology), Naromie André (MA History of Design & Curatorial Studies).


This show is part of Spring 2015 Open Programming where students were invited to submit proposals to be shown in the Gallery.