Daniel Buchholz

Nairy Baghramian

29 Apr - 25 Jun 2011

Nairy Baghramian
"Formage de tête"
Installation view, Galerie Daniel Buchholz 2011
Nairy Baghramian
"Formage de tête"
29. April - 25. June 2011

A sheet of paper, a wooden board, a piece of metal, a white cook’s apron, according to Deleuze/Guattari’s ideas on "capitalism and schizophrenia" these are all "bodies without organs" (1) , surfaces for inscription, possibilities for coding and the production of meaning. The body without organs is in itself unproductive, it is, however, "constantly injected into production" in order to effect its union with anti-production. In the realm of art it would be allotted the role of the found object, the inchoate, the unarticulated. As such, however, they form materials and morphologies, but also loci where art sees fit to intervene, an economy of the auratic, a currency of criticism.
Deleuze and Guattari, however, expose the body without organs to the desiring-machines and vice versa. A desiring-machine that stands in conflict with a body without organs would, for example, be the schizophrenic table as is brought into play by Michaux. "A dehumanized table, nothing cozy about it, nothing middle-class, nothing rustic, nothing countrified (...).
A table which lent itself to no function. Self-protective, denying itself to service and communication alike. There was something stunned about it, something petrified." (2)
In such a piece of furniture production and its cessation coincide: "The table continues to ‘go about it’s business.’ The surface of the table, however, is eaten up by the supporting framework. The nondetermination of the table is a necessary consequence of its mode of production." (3)

'Bodies' made of rubber are hanging over simple stands. The matrix is made from reversed casts, an assemblage of heaped up material. When the cast is removed from the mould, negative forms are left. While every impression makes a secret of its object and the reason for it, the very listing of them here robs potentially cast materials and morphologies of any mysticism. The traces they leave are to be regarded as ingredients of potted head prepared
on a hotplate. They have tops and lids too. Several of these rubber-coated tin lids are hung up in the gallery on a kind of stand so that you can see the residue from the filling material running out like a jelly that has boiled over. The photographic fragments of a false cook do not replace the artist. It is rather that this figure can counteract the auratic moment of contact in the production.
A table like this is dysfunctional and the question remains: "What is a form? So as not to startle anyone with the philosophical weight of this all-too-sudden question, I would like to answer it with an etymological pun which the French language has to offer. Form (forme)is a fourme, that is a
cheese (fromage) – something formed (formage) if you will."(4)
So no metaphysics of the form. No Platonic idea, but no "professional deformation" either. But the head turned into form and formation and models of thinking. Casts of thoughts. Rather more like beating your head again and again against the organless body of the white walls – pour déformer la tête!

Gardemanger, 2011


(1) Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans.
Robert Hurley, Mark Seem, and Helen R. Lane, London: Athlone Press, 1984, p. 9f.
(2) Ibid. p. 6.
(3) Henri Michaux, Les grandes épreuves de l’esprit, Paris: Gallimard,1966, p. 156, quoted
in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, Anti-Oedipus, Capitalism and Schizophrenia, p. 7.
(4) Georges Didi-Huberman, Ähnlichkeit und Berührung, Cologne: Dumont, 1999, p. 31.

Tags: Nairy Baghramian, Henri Michaux