Sympoieses Workshop II



Abject and desire

25.11. – 29.11.2019

Abjection can be best described as ‘a state of being cast off’, that which is rejected by and disturbs social reason and our social order. The abject is a complex psychological concept developed by Prof. Julia Kristeva in her 1980s book ‘Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection’. Kristeva describes abjection as the feeling when an individual experience is confronted (both mentally and as a body) by one's "corporeal reality" or a breakdown in the distinction between what is Self and what is Other.

Subject: I am this inside

Object: That is that outside

Abject: That is what I am not

The Abject is an in-between state that does not respect boundaries and inherently disturbs our ideas of conventional identity and cultural concepts. It is something that we distance ourselves from to build and define our identity. The duality of being attracted and abjected by something at the same time is crucial both to our society and our psychology.

This concept is often reflected and referred to by artists and designers alike, Sarah Lucas, Anna Uddenberg, Martin Margiela and Alexander Mcqueen, just to name a few.

We must exclude but also tolerate the Abject, but can we try to include it and transform the Abject into an aesthetic Object of desire and pleasure?

In the workshop ‘Abject and desire’ we will investigate the relationship between us as the subject, the objects we will create and the abjection of these objects as a trigger of defining our individual boundaries. We will investigate its dualistic nature and try to translate into a physical object of pleasure/desire in form of accessories:

  • Reflect upon ideas of the Subject, the Object and what defines the Abject
  • Learn to use the method of abjection to shift and define individual boundaries
  • Visualize these reflections as accessories (objects of desire) and curate a group exhibition to showcase the results.

The workshop will be lead by Matthias Walthart and Noemi Ceresola. Matthias and Noemi showcased their first personal collection at Paris Fashion Week in 2014. Together they worked as freelance designers and consultants until 2018. Some of their clients include Bernhard Willhelm x Camper Shoes, Sang Bleu Suisse, Collective Swallow, Sang Bleu Magazine, Sportsclub, Friday Magazine, Novembre Magazine and Canon of Switzerland amongst others.

Übersicht Workshop Wochen