Monday, November 14, 2011

Combines




























I wonder what Heidegger would make of Robert Rauschenberg’s work, a prime example of combine painting. What I like about them is the dissolution of the boundary between painting and sculpture, but also his use of trash and found objects. I feel like by incorporating pre-constructed and exceedingly mundane objects, Rauschenberg’s pieces dictate what “art” will consist of, according to its own terms.



The sculpture component brings attention to what Heidegger would call the “thingly” or material quality of the work. But I still sense that his treatment of these Combines would differ from that of, say, van Gogh’s painting. Here, the relationship between reality/content and the representation/form is problematized by the use of objects that are un-manipulated representations of nothing but themselves. Nonetheless, I think Heidegger would be interested in parsing the “Earth/World” struggle present in these works—They seems to both expose their “meaning” (take for example, the accessibility of a chair and its associations) and internalize it or resist interpretation through the use of no apparent order.

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