Konstantinos Retsinas

"Objects of transition"

Section MS2, Kelly Spanou

Keywords: objects, photography, narrative, collage

In response to this year’s assessment, I chose to work with personal objects within my possession. After exploring different mediums such as physical objects, collage and photography, I tried to approach a collective type of mediation. Through research and practice, I attempted to attach new meanings to the objects that I am engaged with and create narratives with them so as to metamorphose their nature and what people think of them.

To begin with, I experimented with several objects of mine such as a teapot and a PEZ dispenser just because they have existed and been arranged in my personal space the last few years everywhere that I have lived in. I started studying them very closely so as to identify their properties and capacities that I had never noticed before, but somehow, I knew they were there. My experiment was more of an exploration of their possible expressions and the way that I tried to address their transformations was by intervening within their real and sensual qualities. Graham Harman (2018) in his book on Object-Oriented Ontology titled The New Theory of Everything argues that either a real or sensual object could not exist without qualities and vice versa. This leads towards the quadruple object after the four possible combination indicated by Harman's diagram.

As such, I casted most of them using different materials that revealed properties of theirs that had never before been seen - heavy objects started floating and solid objects became squeezable. In this way, new meanings were attached to them. Moreover, using collage as a medium I recontextualised the transformed objects trying to add on their new narratives. The casted objects were then placed into new environments where they escaped from their pre-established functions - toys were condemned not to be played anymore.

Photography was used widely during these practices as a way to document the many different stages of transition of original objects. I engaged with banal objects which are contaminated with notions of consumerism, advertisement, heritage, identity, and tradition. Working with them involved seeing these objects in different trajectories personal or not, human or object-oriented and more. I could argue then, that photography captured the many different variations of them towards the framing of a critical position on how these objects deal with these notions after all - object of popular culture started promoting heritage.

Finally, the outcome of this project was meant to be condensed in a series of photographs documenting different stages of the transitions of my original objects.