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The Facticity of Things – Reframing Slotawa's Practice with Meillassoux and Harman


Zurück zum Heft: Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und Allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft Band 60. Heft 1
EUR 14,90


Robert Jackson examines the work of the German artist Florian Slotawa. Beginning with his first works, “Hotelarbeiten”, Slotawa recomposes and reconfigures the order of ordinary objects – in this case, the furniture of hotel rooms. In reconstructing these rooms in another order without altering these objects in any way, photographing them, and then subsequently restoring them to their previous configuration, the artist reveals the ordinary function of the objects and by withdrawing from their function shows their material and factual character. To elucidate the specificity of Slotawa’s intervention, Jackson critiques Heidegger’s conception of facticity in its exclusive account of Dasein and its being-in-the world, in contrast to the factuality of “things-within-the world.” Drawing on Harman’s extension of finitude beyond Dasein to all things, he encourages us to see Slotawa as engaged in “facticity of things” that is characterized by dispossession, lack of reason, and radical contingency. As Jackson argues, Slotawa is trying to find a way to dwell in a world that has no room or possibility for the given coordinates of dwelling; a world that is a fact without reason. In concluding he explores a reading of Slotawa that explores the intersecting yet radically different approaches to thinking about a speculative realism in the work of Harman and Meillassoux, and their differing attitudes to the finite and the infinite, facticity and factiality, contingency and necessity, without presuming to assume that either of these accounts cover the speculative facticity of things revealed in Slotawa’s work.