Everything is what it isn’t

Luis Jose Viyella Leon
Oct 16, 2014 3:10AM

Every object that we encounter in our day to day has a meaning to us, and as soon as we lay eyes on it we make assumptions about it, like; how heavy it is, how it will feel to the touch or what the use for it is. And as we become familiar with them, they become synonyms of a certain idea. But these “rules” that we fill the world with, like, a spoon is only for eating, a chair is only for seating, and a car is only for driving. Even though there’s some truth to them, there is really no reason why they should be there, except for the fact that that’s what most people use these objects for. Even things as benign as a “selfie” which are mostly used for social media, used in a different way can create great impact on those who see it, as we see Ai Weiwei do with “Ai Weiwei in the Elevator When Taken into Custody by the Police”.

In this sample of work, we break those meanings and explore the possibilities of what objects and their concepts can become when totally ignoring “the norm”, “the standard”. And help question, what are, in other words preconceptions set by the masses.

Something as simple as changing an objects orientation, can completely transform the perception of an object as Marcel Duchamp does with the urinal in “Fountain”. Were he takes a urinal and lays it on his back, by just doing this. The image of just a urinal disappears and is replaced with questions of what the artist’s intent was with this move, and what it may change in our own view of the object. These changes can be minuet or extremely extensive, but here we see that either way the objects maintain their familiarity and the changes are really made to help the viewer understand how and why these preconceptions can be broken. Of course the best excuse to justify this practice is art, but that’s not really the case, today we are surrounded by such a huge array of stimuli and information that sometimes it is hard to take a step back and really think of what we are hearing, reading, feeling and doing that we get caught up in the motions and the repetition of what is familiar. Which in terms makes it harder to notice these things, turning into a vicious cycle.

So next time you find yourself overwhelmed by life, remember to take time to wonder why you do what you do? And why you do what you’re doing?

Luis Jose Viyella Leon