(un)common ground

a commonplace book

Antique Fetish

The antique as directly experienced is quite unaffected by period or style, whether the object is a model or whether it is serial in character, whether or not it is precious, or whether it is genuine or fake: it remains in all cases ‘perfect’; it is neither internal nor external, but ‘elsewhere’; neither synchonic nor diachronic, but anachronistic; relative to its possessor, it is neither the complement of a verb ‘to be’ nor the object of a verb ‘to have’, but falls, rather, into the grammatical category of an internal object that gives expression to the essence of the verb in an almost tautological manner.

Jean Baudrillard, The System of Objects (1968)

This in discussing the antique object’s appropriation and subsumption into the system of objects.

I mostly just love the power of the way this single sentence is written, but I also find its thesis fascinating. Makes you wonder why there are flea markets, why we decorate with “old” objects or “distress” materials to mimic antiquity or age. Baudrillard would say that it’s because of a tension between the functional and traditional systems of objects, between exteriority and interiority…


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This entry was posted on September 16, 2015 by and tagged , , .
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