It is neither a question of chance nor of necessity. Their hold on
occurrence, on what is happening, only opens up the event - projects and
event by the creation of a project - as that which will have already
occurred and that even if the occurring is yet to have happened. Positing
an already present relation, even the presence of the yet to be present
relation, means that innovations and experimentations when understood as
events are lost. As such their presence - there, being present - can do no
more that mark the site of the enactment, perhaps reenactment, of what can
be shown after the occurrence to have already been predicted. As showing
not just of the already shown but of that which has already occurred.
Responding. The site of reenactment as that site thereby attests,
contrary to that philosophical position sustaining prediction and
occurrence as the reoccurrence, the complexity - both ontological and
temporal - of occurrence. The initial occurrence occasions therefore its
own divide. In so doing the question of relation comes to be posed again.
An opening in which relation in no longer being given, is to take place
again. Relation's site is hence forth charged, taking the form of a question.
What then of the again?
Contrasts. Prediction, a predetermined determination, means that the
relation between occurrences, even though they are not shown as such
nonetheless are already envisaged as existing. It will never be a question
therefore of the possibility of relation. A question touching on the
future for it involves relation in its having to be established. There is
therefore no call to understanding. The work of art thereby loses any
control it had over the imperative. Responding in the absence of the call
to interpret means that interpretations becomes the repetition of the Same.
What is repeated is not therefore identical, there is no such entailment.
Rather the differences involved can be accounted for in terms of diversity,
degree, orientation, etc. Here difference because it is difference within
the Same works against value by precluding the presence of the differential.
Positing preexistent relations works to obviate the irruption of
chance. Its happening beyond the confines of chance's symbiotic
interarticulation with necessity. And yet because chance must figure as
the possibility to be overcome - a move itself only possible because of the
pre-established connection - the risk of actual chance is left open. Its
actuality would be its occurrence no longer delimited by the
pre-established. Chance would thus be understood as a break in the work of prediction.
Chance, actual chance, in inextricably linked to an imperative.
Understand. The imperative however has no given answer or response. Here
the imperative functions as a call. Tradition in either the conventional
of Hegelian sense will attempt to respond to the imperative with a change
in tense. The advent of the event of interpretation is met by the already
understood. What is to occur has become that which has already occurred.
The counter move here is neither the positing of nonmeaning in the
place of meaning, nor meeting the possibility of understanding with its
impossibility. These counters merely repeat albeit in a different form,
with the guise of the negative, the conditions of sense that have already
been given. The counter is the retention - at times an opening retention -
of complexity. The complexity in question needs however to be
differentiated from diversity or variety; the endless play of adjectives,
or layers of meaning. The complexity pertains to the nature of the event
itself. In insisting on the anoriginal presence of the complex, the event
is able to respond to the imperative in so far as the imperative is able to
insist, by being left open to insist. An opening within complexity. It is
the presence of anoriginal complexity that moves interpretation away from
the problematic of representation - complexity works against the
possibility of maintaining the presence of representation in any other form
than that of a presence to be understood otherwise, an-other image - and
towards repetition. A move incorporating and sustaining the preconditions
and thus the possibility for judgement.
The complexity of repetition is inherent in the word, thus bringing
with it its anoriginal complexity. Repetition, the word, marks the space
of its own possibility. It marks out an essence that in the attempt either
to represent it or allow for it to represent itself breaks the hold of
representation by refusing an essential preparation.
Defining a place. Its being displayed means that here the question of
the event - object as event and as event never reducible to pure
objectivity - will pertain to what is on display. And yet the pertinency
in question is difficult. An apparent reflexivity is involved since
expressing display brings with it the very complexity that must come to be
addressed. Expressing display already entails a form of display. On
display - being on display - is a state that is "itself" being displayed.
(It goes without saying that the nature of this "itself" is far from
straightforward.) The doubling of display allows for a response to be made
to the question of what conditions would pertain for the evaluation of any
Admitting complexity opens up the question of the event. Complexity
is present. Its presence is anoriginal. Consequently it will even be
present at that precise moment when simplicity - even elegant simplicity -
is thought to have done without the complications of complexity. Accepting
such a possibility let alone working or interpreting on the basis of its
enactment is itself based on neglecting, forgetting and with it its being
forgotten, the display of display. Exhibited in this doubling in the
presentation of politics. Any reduction to the simple, to an unproblematic
"there is", effaces this presentation. However the political is
reinscribed and complexity reintroduced by the mark, the remainder, left by
the positing of simplicity. Forgetting leaves its mark. Memory and
forgetting inform the site of judgement. Insisting within its task.
Even the elemental can be confounded by showing that it resists the
elementary. The white cube entails a certain conception of the object of
display and is of course entailed by it. It involves a specific
determination of the site of art, including the relationship between
subject and object. This relation is not just phenomenological - the locus
of experience - since it is also the location of meaning and thus the
domain where the conditions of possibility for meaning and understanding
come to be played out. It is in the playing out that strategic chance -
the chance effect - may introduce an incision.
There is no simple move from experience to meaning and then to
understanding as though they formed a linked continuum, one where each was
an addition that either built on or supplemented the other. Experience,
meaning and understanding are interarticulated. They mark the object with
their expectations; accepting that they are, in addition, the site of
expectations. The expectations - projects incorporating identifications -
are also implicated in the object, its being as object and thus with its
display in its being on display. Expectations allow for a move beyond pure
objectivity. A move enjoining complexity.
The complex marked by expectation introduces tradition and repetition.
Tradition, a determination in advance operating within and as the
interarticulation of experience, meaning and understanding, becomes the
source of a repetition taking place within, and as, the Same. The work of
repetition militates against the positing of absolute alterity. (The new).
However it is the ineliminable presence of tradition - its repetition -
that occasions its own new; the site of its effective abeyance given by the
irruption of an event. (The avant-garde). It is in this repetition - the
gift of tradition - that an approach is opened to the question of display's
display. The impossibility of not taking the gift - refusal endures as a
form of fusing - means that what is important is the mode of acceptance.
Strategies of taking over.
There is an expectation pertaining to the viewer/viewed relation. It
is an expectation maintaining a certain conception of the subject/object
relation. The effectivity of the repetition of these relations depends
upon the specificity of the object and the nature of its display and thus
with the possible presentation of an intended homological relation existing
between them. Homology as that which provides the unity of the site.
It is the site of repetition that comes to be displayed; displayed by
being repeated. The implication of the institution within this display -
its facilitating it - is itself displayed. A recognition of this display -
the construal of the site in terms of repetition - is a recognition of
doubling and hence the inherent presence of display's politics. It is thus
the site - its complexity - that lends itself to a reworking of repetition.
A repetition in which something occurs again for the first time. It also
means that the politics of display are indissolubly connected to the
divergent strategies of forgetting and remembering. The latter emerge
therefore not as additions that can be brought to bear subsequently after
the event, but as inherent to, as well as present in, the question of
display itself. Furthermore forgetting and remembering name the very
processes to which they are themselves subjected. They function therefore
as a type of processional mise-en-abyme.
Occurrence, the display of that which occurs, will either be
constrained by forgetting and the work of the Same and thus sustain its own
complacency, or in taking its own display - the site of the subject/object
relation - into relation resist the necessity of homology and open display
up to the chance effect. What appears as a choice, a simple either/or, is,
in its incorporation of tradition and hence the constraint to repeat it,
neither simple nor a choice. Again complexity appears working to open
display thereby presenting a display of contestation.
What then in happening?
Beginning. A line. A plane. No more. One is place on or near the
other. Encounterings. A square within a square. Lines bordering within
lines. Just that. No figure as such. Bands, thick or thin, widths of
colour. Bound by a border and constructed of colours differentiating.
Simple. Appearing without depth.
Questions. If a line can be drawn, drawn in addition to a line
already placed and marked out, what does it add? If the lines cross what
type of angle is make? To what degree are there just degrees? If, rather
than lines, there are blocks of colour, could the overlapping ever be
charged with an obscurity indicating that something figures. Not the
figure, never the solitary object, but a figuring? A presence other than
The lines, straight and thus holding up and against other lines are
rehearsing the same role. In their rehearsal control is figured. An
exercise of what can never be finally excised. A controlled simplicity
holding in check any possibility of that addition whose presence would be
out of control.