Wednesday, February 01, 2006


De-reifying documentary: the fotopis’ and “objectless art.”

‘Malevich’s use of the word "bespredmetnoe" here may be interpreted as a means to the deobjectification of aesthetics, that is, of art objects. This twist on the meaning of "bespredmetnyi" is facilitated by an ambiguity implicit in the word itself: Malevich slides from one sense of the root "predmet" – “representational subject matter” – to another – “a physical object.” Once Malevich made the transition from “subjectless” abstraction to “objectless” art, cinema…provided the conditions for what Adorno refers to as “de-reified activity…." “The artists …will also create a portrait of Lenin in the future,” which [Malevich] claimed “will convince the Leninist and he will accept it as a real fact….[The image] rises above the materialist plan of the action.”’ (181)

fotopis’ – a neologism, “photo-writing”; tactile, affective, laying hands on the document.

(From Tupitsyn, Margarita. “ After Vitebsk: El Lissitzky and Kazimir Malevich, 1924-1929.”)


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