Holding is an act. As an act it must remain continuous. An actative
presence. Holding is taking place, its hold cannot be released. The absence
of release - perhaps its impossibility - leaves its mark. In marking out
its presence, it comes to be repeated, repeating itself.
Holding in place, the force of holding, means that the positions held are
held by the expenditure of force. Expenditure as holding gives rise to
tension, its presence. Holding is an abeyance of collapse effected by the
continual placing, keeping in place, holding.
What then is held by the simple? What future is
envisaged - held up - by the simple addition of lines? What is there
as an addition, their in addition? Will addition bring with it a limit,
one whose crossing will demand a transformation both in the object and
in how it is understood?
The question of the object involves not just the opening move of
how is the object to be understood but will lead to the specific constitution
of the object itself. Being an object - what is that the object it? - within the
question of the display - what is the display? - will be a constitutive element
of the object itself. The presence of an initial question allows for a
differentiation to be made between objects. A differentiation
overcoming the confines of classification by introducing
judgment and with it value.
The simple is the attempt to extrude the threat of madness. Not the
madness which is reason's opposite - its dangerous necessity - but the actually
mad. The event out of control.
Chance, actual chance, its irruption is held over by the simple, by
its project. Its being held is however in addition to the holding. While
it is intended that chance, the irruption of an event outside of prediction
and therefore one that eschews mapping by and within geometric space be
precluded, its preclusion, the space of that avoidance, must also be
placed. It is inscribed in addition but not as an addition.
That there is something else, its presence, threatens the positing
of simplicity. Rather than the simple being the original moment, what
occurs neither takes the place of simplicity nor does it replace it. It marks
the presence of an initial complexity. A site that is given prior to the
simple and which in its work allows for the simple presentation. Presentation
as simple. Though only ever simple after the event. Thereby being simple
contains the mark of its own possibility. The conventional temporality
of the simple and the complex - namely the before and after - is,
within the confines of this movement, displaced and thus no
Geometry in no longer retaining its simplicity becomes, in the move
to representation, the attempt to present hegemonic space. A point always
predicted. A spatiality already constructed. Waiting at an edge for a
line already being drawn.
Spacing. The simple, even the elegantly simple, is complex because
its form, its mode of presentation is already the presentation of
With the simple square - either simple or in parts - it may
seem that the heuristic force, the site of interpretation has
withdrawn into itself dragging any content, even the provisional
presence of a context - site, history - from the outside into the
square itself. The intention is that the intensity thereby created
yields the thing itself by being the thing itself. The coextensivity
of inside and outside, the noumenal and the phenomenal. And yet the
positing of identity is no sooner advanced that it is checked.
In being the thing itself it becomes the exemplary instance. In
instantiating itself, it instantiates itself. This twofold, perhaps
a doubling, inscribed within and as the object creates the actual conditions
for its own display. It comes to be displayed because of its exemplarity.
What is of course displayed is its uniqueness.
Both are on display.
The display of the exemplary instance of an intended pure
self-referentiality is linked to a complex forgetting. While the
qualifications, determinations - "exemplary", "intended" - work to maintain
the display's divide, it is nonetheless a divide that only overcomes its
being forgotten within the process of interpretation. Its being overcome
in no however a necessary consequence of all interpretations. It is thus
that it is with the divide in interpretation and the related divide in the
various construals of the nature of the relationship between subject and
object that value - itself the site of its own repetition beyond the
confines of the Same - can be reintroduced.
Doubling within simplicity, a doubling either effaced or forgotten by
the work's intentional logic can also be checked by interpretation. Here
what would be at play is the effacing of doubling - its anoriginal presence
- as a consequence of the attempt to establish a homological relation
between object and interpretation.
Homology is inextricably linked to representation. Providing its
expression in the presentation of the object. On the other hand the
possibility of presentation remains open. The siting of that
possibility - its actuality - is no longer to take place with representation,
as either the negative or positive instance. Presentation should be
positioned within and thus be presented as forming part of the
general economy of repetition.
Representation. Representation pertains firstly to the object's
intentional logic. It intends in either a positive or negative sense to
represent and therefore to be understood as a representation. Secondly it
is at work within the activity of interpretation. Here the interpretation
accepts the intentional logic as creating the frame of understanding and
then seeks to present that frame. The intriguing consequence is that the
re-presentation of an accepted representation not only intends to establish
a homological relation between object and interpretation, this intention
can itself only be realised if the re-presentation is a repetition. A
repetition presented within and thus presenting the Same.
Consequences. From the presence of representations, their presence,
it does not follow that they need be interpreted as representations and
further that interpretation need not itself be articulated with the
problematic of representation. Other approaches are possible to the
presence of figures, the repetition of genre or the reworking and
rearticulation of symbol.
The presentation of the work - the object - is its display. The
question posed with easy generality - What then of its display? - precludes
a singular answer not just because of the complexity of the display's
display but due, more emphatically, to the ontology of the object itself.
Truisms. The neon lights - Jenny Holzer's city lights - convey a
message. They present their content. Words spell. In presenting, in
displaying it they present, display, at the same time their presentation.
Here the presentation involves a relation involving neither parasitism nor
dependence. Central to the relation will be components of mass culture.
References to advertising, to the poster, to the bill board mark the work.
And yet the references are neither allusion nor citations. The components
are the display of the work. In being the display the work, the
occurrence, is not reducible to that display. The site of irreducibility,
of one and an-other, involves a specific relation. The words, spelling,
the lines to be read, only employ the means of mass culture, only
become a part of them to the extent that they are at the same
time apart from them.
The presence of a logic of a part/apart - a repetition of distance
and presence - means that the display becomes the site of a spacing.
The message, the words spelt out, are not written into the spacing.
They enact it, enacted by it. The work of this logic displaces
the presence of irony. It moves the object beyond the site of
The singularity of "form" is simply strategic. There is no
singularity there is only the re-placing - the placing elsewhere - of
Here spacing, to the extent that it lends itself to generality,
takes on a particular form. Spacing in this specific sense becomes
the preconditions for spatial relations. The object's being in space
is not given as a singularity - as isolated - even though it may be
posited as such. The site of spacing - its citation here - opens
up an approach to Judith Barry's exhibition. The implausibility
yet necessity of the word - "exhibition" - is itself