The exhibition project Untitled manifests a critical reflection on themes of objectivity, perception and object/subject dialectics within global context of production and exchange.
Among the pieces we see a colorful and exuberant series of texts in neon lights representing titles of famous contemporary artworks. The choices reveal the poetic perspective of the artist towards the literature that coexists with the materiality of an artwork, constituting its very fundamental value as a piece of art at times. A new form of creativity is instigated when words regain their independence from objects and images. Every so often perception of words is influenced by the auras of fame around objects that lead to a constrained mode of appreciation. Pazooki turns this dialectic on its head and depicts the inverted logic in these pieces.
In another series Chinese reproduction painters of the Dafen village have been given an unusual assignment to write about well-known pieces of contemporary art. The artist changes the relationship of these painters with artworks from reproduction of their objectivity to reflection on their meaning and the ensuing literature recurs in a new shape. These printed texts are shown along with empty black surfaces on walls that are reminiscent of original pieces and their physical attributes. A playful relationship with these famous pieces takes place in the gallery where the audience has to re-establish an association between bareness of traces and the presented literature.
This work, L’Origine du monde is by Gustave Courbet, dated 1866. This controversial work today hangs in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. It is oil on canvas and measures 46 x 55cm.
The first man who bought this painting was the Turkish ambassador in Paris. As the image seemed so provocative to him, he decided to put a small green curtain in front of the picture, which had to be drawn aside in order to view it. The last private owner of the work was the French philosopher Jacques Lacan, before it was donated to the French state.
But he also had the painting covered with a drawing specifically commissioned for that purpose, by his step-brother, the artist Andre Masson. It seemed that this painting by Courbet contained more reality in it than most people were willing to tolerate. In the painting, it is precisely the absence of the head, the legs, the feet and hands of the woman which reinforces the provocative and arousing appeal of the image. The absence of the other body parts draws even more attention to the sexual, and in particular the genitals of the painted woman.
Lacan first mentioned his theory of the objet (petit) a in his 1957 seminar Les formations de l’inconscient, two years after he had acquired L’Origine du monde. To highly simplify Lacan's concept, 'objet petit a' represents an object that triggers the desire of the unknown in the viewer. My theory is that Lacan was clearly inspired by this painting and its composition in his formulation of the 'objet petit a' concept. The black part in the painting functions as an empty space which the viewer fills with their imagined forms of desire. This concept is exhibited through the censored image. Throughout my work I have seen a parallel between the censored image and the concept of 'objet petit a'. The black spot, the act of masking, fills the image with infinite possible fantasy and its origins.
Extracted from MA thesis " of Censorship: Reception the Absent Images ", Leila Pazooki, 2009