Galerie Tobias Naehring is proud to present ‘ob-iectum sub-iectum’, a group exhibition curated by Domenico de Chirico, featuring works by Connor McNicholas, Ian Law, Jens Einhorn, Lindsay Lawson, Strauss Bourque- LaFrance, Tomas Downes.
In Western philosophy, during the so called ‘scholastic period’ – also known as the Christian Medieval school of thought – the notion of object was first introduced to indicate the content of an intellectual or perceptive act – out of reality as a whole – and considered as a separate entity in logical opposition to the notion of subject. On the other hand, the latter’s meaning conjures a notion of immutable essential nature – a well determined and certain, made of substance ‘objectivity’.
The term’s etymology is a hint to how the current meaning of the object/subject opposites results from an overturning of the primitive meaning where the object was indeed the content of a rational action, while the subject was reality’s natural essence.
The Latins used the word ‘ob-iectum’ – literally ‘thrown forward’ or ‘placed in front’ – to translate what the Greek philosopher Aristotle defined ‘anti-kèimenon’ – the opposite of ‘upo-kèi-menon’ – which meant ‘what is placed underneath’ the substrate or substance i.e. the essence of reality.
The latter term upokèimenon has been translated into Latin as sub-iectum, from which the Italian ‘soggetto’.
In all currents of thoughts, throughout the turn of different eras up until contemporary lexicon and epistemology ‘subject and object’ have always made a pair: on the one hand, there is someone who thinks; on the other, necessarily, something which is thought.
The exhibition puts these two pivotal elements in relation to each other. They are both invested with issues regarding the annexing and metamorphosis of everything that is real; and via one artistic identity and an intuitive elaboration process, there originates a single composite entity. The object turns into subject – and vice versa.
Domenico de Chirico, 2016