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Sven Lütticken: Objections. Forms of Abstraction, Volume 1

Book Presentation: Sven Lütticken in conversation with Marina Vishmidt

Forms of Abstraction engages with abstrac­tion not as a formal option in art, or as an airy theoretical speculation, but as an operational force that has redesigned our world and continues to do so. The first volume, Objections, takes its cue from the Latin root of object, obiectum—which refers to something put before the subject, something thrown in one’s way. This sense of the object as obstacle or obstruction, and of the artwork as an aesthetic and political objection, is explored in this volume. Objections sees artists engaging with materiality and value, with subatomic particles and radiation as well as with the objectification of human and nonhuman organisms. Along the way, we encounter theoretical objects such as the fetish, the plaster cast, the patented bacteria, the buried radioactive container, and the contemporary artwork itself. Contem­porary art is analyzed here as a set of aesthetic practices revolving around prob­lematic and questionable objects that can act as productive objections.

Sven Lütticken is an art historian. He is associate professor at Leiden University's Academy of Creative and Performing Arts / PhDArts, and he coordinates the research master's track Critical Studies in Art and Culture at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Marina Vishmidt is writer, editor, and critic. She is a lecturer at the Centre for Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths University of London and teaches art theory at the Netherlands Art Institute in Arnhem.