For a growing number of contemporary artists and thinkers, the ontology of objects has prompted new investigations and modes of making. Perhaps in reaction to the dominance of screens and images in our daily life, artistic practice has embraced the object-as-thing: estranged, powerful and physical. A likeminded investment in materiality can be observed among the 20 artists in this exhibition. The Intelligence of Things presents these artists’ practices, which attest to the importance of the object in contemporary life. In these works, spanning different aesthetics and mediums—painting, performance, photography, video, sculpture and installation—objects become ciphers for memory, desire and fantasy. Far from simple gestures, the things in these works articulate their place as icons and bodily analogs, and as protagonists in interiors, architectural spaces and the scope of history.
The exhibition privileges the role of the displayed objects over any overarching curatorial concept. As a title The Intelligence of Things both emphasizes this approach and illuminates these artworks’ powerful effect and affect. That is to say that following Kant’s purposeful purposelessness, these artworks upend our notions of a thing’s effect or intent, and each one has a particular character, demeanor, and accent—whether fierce or foppish. The Intelligence of Things brings together a group of works that resist clear categorization and do not adhere to rigid stylistic doctrines. The exhibition and the works therein, rather, critically explore how things and human subjects together produce meaning in the world. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Parsons Fine Arts is committed to educating artists who will undertake essential roles in our society by offering a progressive, cross-media program that integrates dynamic studio practice with critical theory. For further information go to: finearts.parsons.edu or contact the program director, Simone Douglas at email@example.com. Parsons The New School for Design is one of the premier institutions for art and design education. Founded in 1896, it has served as a pioneer in the field for more than a century. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of design disciplines. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons offers rigorous training that allows for interdisciplinary collaboration across five thematic schools. An integral part of The New School, Parsons builds on the university’s legacy of progressive ideals, scholarship, and pedagogy. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century. For more information, please visit parsons.newschool.edu.