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An Introduction to The Object

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The relationship between the object and art is a tumultuous one. Fetishised by Pop, glorified by Modernism, challenged by Conceptualism, refused by performance, absent in new media; since its placement in the centre of practice early in the 20th century, artists have been working through the complexities of the object’s relevance. fine print’s last issue for 2015 wonders where the object stands now.

Contemporary art has inherited a tangle of attitudes towards this issue, seeking answers across all media. Over the course of this search we have worshiped and denied, but the object has arguably always been with us, on the tip of our tongues in even the most resolutely non-material practice through its glaring absence. In art it has been all, it has been nothing—considering that some schools of philosophy have suggested that the whole world and all it entails can be reduced to the concept of objects, could it now be everything?

Through review, discussion and response, Bridget Currie (AUS/SPN), Molly Garcia-Underwood (SA), Bernadette Klavins (SA), Kegan McFadden (CAN), Sophia Phillips (SA), Tom Squires (SA), Ash Tower (SA) and Mia van den Bos (SA) explore where we are in the quest to resolve the object’s status anxiety within the ranks of contemporary art.