You are on page 1of 9


(;,ol>no1t.>1V«e __
_ .-."-..,..1
>9 ' . . .. - .. . :1) • •
1'75 ' 005 ' '" ..... ,
""" .,(,_ ... n"""
.... CM ... .... _.
a>:lI.ord Stm Oot RIo,.,..
Ih'I. 'wlo:: .. nI Loo.l
.. ,,,,...,,.. lOw
""'-" "1"'" on .....
..... _ .. _""
_""'Ic ....... ' ..
<:on ... ",," ............. ,.,...., lC
'11,,-,&. ""101""-" •
_11 ........... _k._ ..
.. ..... " ..
(4I-1' ... S· ......
....... ,' .. , ... ,' ..
( .... . , .... ........ ,
, ....... _ .. -."'.-..
C_, __ N ' 'I'
Sculpture Between Nation-State and
Global Commodity Production
Benjamin H. D. Buchloh

  TWfiNTlUU CUIlUIY we wilnru"d Ih.' nlO'l!
oppositions in produClion (confront ing.
em in I h('iT Tl'Spt'<'1i\'t' tk"GIlt."$. Kro .... cus; Marnll>uch.1Illp.
Joseph Ik-uys and Arman, lI irhard M- rra and "v .. haw. for ' M
mOil J),l n , IlnfflTE'd to t'ng:.J,G(' only wilh I he work of or ldfit.
Imab'" iQ Minimali.m (IT "nc P(IV('r.lI. wilh II>t' pro-
dUCliv(' "haiel al 1 hal. sincr ;1 far rewardi ng 10 (oml'mptalt 1110'''
periodl when Ihe prodUCIion otsrutpmre has been :l.IftI, 1'd for InM.ty unk. nown
or inromp"' .... .. "'''oom for in I hOI 1960s. 1 im<:
wilen scul p.ure_in Ipi.t of ils farmer grandeur from 'msmlt Rod,n 10 U" nri
GiKOll,e, 11- has a 1"1"'"
digmal lc f.:nigut, .h<: , hreshatd
of SC't'mingly dIsappearing all.,.
gt't herfrom ¥inial cullurel.
II simibr. mo", I>'"nl'f31 wan·
ing appeu s 10 ha"e in
Ihe beginning of the , wtnty·fi rn
(Cnlury wit h ..... onSl"1 of global·
hOld "u l.uralproduction. Thl)
mll:hI bt> t"plained by
11K- f31."1 I hal ' h" major d ,S<"O!.lfWS
of sculp' u.., Iha, had Orlgil13'ffl
In Ihe Illlhl' Ullitt'll Smu
and in .:urope IMinimalism.PosI·
Minimalism. and lint I'oven]
h .... l COm.' 10 full frui' ion all(] had It·ft -iUi in .he ulI;vtrsal l)!"tS('nCt and
Donald Judd far example- an 3pparenlly irw:ammtnsur.lblt .1nd
able Al I I he astonishing. I hen. ,h.:Il an aniS! from Muic ...
Orozco. has redefined .he paramt·,ers 0( sculp' ill 'he present ;I!ld 'hus
contributed ' oSOllv3l1ing Ihe from extilKtioll. ' Coming from a COUnlry
and a cullu .... 1 {an.exl nOi g .. ncrally known for In (onuibu.ions '0 Kutplural
moth.·rni'y. Orozco's si,ua'ion is» comparablr '0 'he momen' when Iht
ROlnanlan 8rarocusi arrived in Paris,o redHm KUlp' "re from IheCTilis in whkh
It fOUnd ItSt' lf ROllin. IInJlidc- MatiSSC-. 8r:;u)(Usi"I wDrk would
evol"f \0 Pl'rfonn all ' he posSIble Pl'nnuulionl of 10 emerge IfI , hl'
' ..... ..."d,,'11 "'nlmy: from 'h .... moll devotion 10 primit ;""
fonnl of lTJ.J. n""l"xl.'C\uion '0 a mO<kmi$1 (lYdulity In , .... of m.1Ienall;:
from concfphon Dr, lIe sculplural obje"
, .. a ft'li.h tn ,""UlplllR"S ",I""·li ..
of tile Indulln"l commodity. Thl$
10 syll lhcs; •. t h .... rapidly chan!:,"!:
formalions of callecl ively giveo objt Cl rela·
Iheir Hlnl'lil1i, ...
ofdtslre-made Br:mnlJi the 11)011 imponam
KlIlplor of' ht' tim half ofthe 'W.'lIlit·1 h <"n·
'ul)'. In similar manner. OroUO'l work wi,1I
ronlnlOn and Un('()l1Il1lOn malemlli. wil h ITUdt
and found oojecu . .100 wit h phOlogr.lphs prom.
of ani .. ,nalpt"rf ..... ion ><."("n
in his ,err:JcOlla pit'<:es, and Ithe
dcploymell l of romplHcr 't(lInologv to display
all 'he possiblt' pt"mlU'Jl iooslnllenon, in Onf of
abSl l>Jin'mJlS from ' lit'

... .. .....
_ ..
c-.,of ___

.".. _Idooo... __
... ". - t7" 1»"':\"
oJ.J<IIII). O" .. du ...
(. _., .. -

_ .,..._ '91' .
IOLoo> ."" _,_II,
, "··. , ..
-.... ,--
--.-.- .,, "".)101 •• __
• ..... • • .... ..
c..... co-.,. r: ....
- ... .-_ .......
_1 ___ -
TIW Jerit •• Danikliool Arr'"wnlool. 200II) aJ il hovtn lakil\i 10
ptimiliviulli prxticft and mythiaJ rnooKftaod the II10H adv.I.ncrd fomuofa
l\"Chnologkal (omtmpor,lIwi,,.. Whn ... II hwl( within prrpc1u;a1Ilklb;ol
m()V("ll'IC'nl. ' .... nu ... rI( .... and tplM.-nWTalit)'. al 1M SiI"''' t unt il l'mbr;J(es. If IlOl
on. :l.n .lImos: p;aradollial rq:iorulill SpKlooly 0( malm.lls. morpholo-
lin. and KvllOFo'phin.
TIm, Of"" rould brJin by a.kinS wMlhl'T-and 10 wh:ll ('XI""! _l\lIliun.,tat ..
ti "!lDaw\;m" or ' Malan' actually atr«t ICUlptur;d production.
,ina :lJ)'t"hronid!y ofproduo;tion. m.1t.,ri.Jb. and due' 10 n;!lion.1l or
di'lidn <'QUid r;uily xcoum for MImI,' 0( I hto disJUnc1ioou
In the hiSioryofK'Ulpturr. And _ would
10 clanfy wht1htor IhC' hlalus iwlWffn obJo.
Itt .. procltdUtH and ma, ... rials newl)'
elOC'rgln, morpholog"" orform ",lUlu from
the sp«llk ""I,ten orthe IW.tion·
line. or whether we;a", in f;acl confronted
with a situation ohsyn.chronkllY In which thf
ofa luppcMdly Ir;ldhlon
Ue confmnlrd wilh .. 1 IKhni·
cal and   the "':lnnO'r
I   rt'Cognlzed Ihl' anI helic
Ill' If n.,t ofa m:Khink I .. 'tl to an
tT.llI:td sculplul':Il objKt, or In the n1annu tlul Duchamp Inilllfd on
making 1M obJM I he   tland.lrd ohll :lnink obj«t pr&
dU(1ion in the reldym:ld .. ). Aftrr :Ill. ,h .. (und;unenlal l'pbtenlUloginl chanl/eo
Ihat dell'rminl' Ihl' prodUClion of Io('UlplIl rl' O«'Ilr t1m or all In I he collcc!iw
uperiencl' orl hl' rntrocluring of obj«u for .. umpll'. 10 late al
Ihe 19:ros French n.:.inUrt'am lCUlptu ... to re:lli>t'n an arcluk.lf'Oo
pohlkallydcfiMd identilY ]:II in Ihe deI,,",,11' cbum for a MNluuranun
fnonchllt'U in M;ullo!'1 work) In 10 and KdtKl' indunmlly pro-
duftd)'fl nalioNlly JubjKtivilW$. Thf ronlradinions oflllCh claims
could be Hl'IIlplifiNi by poinling 10 Ihf limullanl'OUl appral':lnff or "':lillol 'l
/tIoIN_ oj ]'9U-:ao). 8I':1n(lul', I"I1IIocm X (1915-16). and Oucl'lamp's
M •••• .,;
-..... .. ;:..,...-.
... .. -'"
IIrLlr 1uIkt .... - d, I'OII"'t (19111-If "'*
art al all willin, 10 accl'pl an anlsled
....1dymadc wilh a poolov.ophkcomplf.
mtnl wilhin lhe canonielll definitions of
KUlpeu", in lhe I_nlicth While
Brancu.i'J work wu prrcl'lvl'd .11 Ihl'
time by the Ir.tIdilion;1I public al an atl of
1'tbl'lIion and IUbj«tNllo C'mMlI'
.hlp.lh .. work W(>U1d ....., ... adv:onctl
Ollr Ihal all S(Ulplllral
lInil't lihe OIW Ih.;\! motiYaIH authorial as
moch 3' sprctJtorial behaviorl
In dtlmnd$ for I'lI'lM'rienllal cchan ofthe
pan objccl.' TILl' Duch3mpi3n objt>n I'V\'n fun IlI'r by fu,int I hI' fOl'
IhO' pan objo!oel wil h tM ofl hl' romntOdllY. and by InKriblnlll ....
colUtroC'lion of t he: andto&YnQuI uulhon..1 lubj«'! wnhin the di ...
funa;"n. of t .... ob.J<'CI" con'aiMr il",lf. nm. a, ..",lpI,,", -f'Vt'n mort'IUb-
[11m Br.!lKUsi -It di'im.;I.II1IN1IM founcbliol.:.1 p.1lriaKh:l1 cbinu oflll<:
K'lIlplOC'''' "'"'" conlrol O"O'r and to the' bbidl",,! «lIK'I'plLOIl and I'tJlf'Hfll'
[;a00n of [be I renuLl'! body, ptibliaLly h.'I.lldl "111 lit (blllll ofbodily .... In'*n Lal ion
.,.....r I., Ihr production ofobjtcl$ and the' rt'Iimn orfuhion and conlUmption.
[helllf:lWhtff bodily rtpltiC:nlalion In f;K'\ rnidl'd inanyraw by , .... ' 9_
Orouo has It:lmNI all 'he cruc;al from Dochamp (and from John
and I"iero Manroni). he h:ll IJken thtm IM"rh..lop!' mot\' Ih..lon
mosl orhis !M'ft1By frcqucnlly altemali", found and nun"f;Ktumi
objt'(ll. by hybridmn, I .... body, I .... pNlCO_ I .... INti .... of ..... Ipeu"' Jfmm
c .... , .. ooO<CO
G.IIMiri 0r0l«J _ ..
""'"'" '9\1). 01_1<
,-pro .... " . "'.
I ... . "." ..... ,,( .
"-..,. .......... , , "

G.ol>rwI """"" 11oW_",
'\IIIJ 5i_ bIr,,, .., rnnt.
.. . ". (""f • .00.6 < ..
EtJi' .... oI3
'-............. _-
....,.,. . ..... '/ott. "

c./>t ..
..... " _lid _,11<11
.... ....... . . ,. .,.-
Mit .... .,. '

lerrXOlla 10 lilll. from bronze 10 CXluS le<lvl'i. from chance imprint.' 10
gr.Jph$l. h ... ha5 forfdtl'd lhe of,he KUlpto.·s intenlional ity skills.
H ... hal given up tr.lditlOn.1111kl!Ott'tY <lnd rontrol O\'er lIier.m::hkal orden thai had
iool.:nro if no< pri ... lq;ro p;ortkul:t.r upN-i"n.l:t.1 fon n. '" .pedfinU)' "",1I"uI":I1
11IiI! lhe work ofar1iiitlllKh a) Serra orDrl AndR' alllht' Into Ihe
p ....   lIy hbt'r.lting the Gltegllty ofKUlpluT'I' from tht ron!otr3ints of in proper
conV'tnlion •. Omn'U unrovo'n.-d a shcerintinlty (OCCI. ufwhal ("QuId
romtitule t he CUlTt'lIt rondltion of thi' KUlptlll"<ll . .... ccordingly. hit inttlVt.'ntwm
........,;allhal Ih,> sculptur:IIl obje.::n Ir:llditiottal bl;'(>15 of mass =111". of V'Qlulll<'
and Itl'Ivity. of tt'XIUR'. surf;Ke. and plact' 1I<Ivt" now disl)Crsed wilhin Ihese
very I't'giuen - r.ll her than. u in Ihe context of Cooct' an. beoen
Ir:tnsf,·rn. ... inlO Ih ...... -gi$"S o(lh .. P<'rfonnaliw. Ih .. phologr.aphk. Ihe somatk.
or I he lingui"k-<lnd U 3 ronK'qut'nct' the pl"l'n'plion of tile KUlptur:t1 lulbet'n
in, ... ,tably shi ftl'tl inlo tht diu(-'min;ul'd R'gisl(-'n of his SP«'!lLIOU' disll';KIl'd
tk-moytd rt'latiomhipllO the mal{'rial world. NOlI surprisingly. I ht arlill Mploys
Ihe photogr;lphic llit' m;)n1lt'f Conct"pHl<llin-u a record 10 U;Kt'
I nd deslnlCl ions. ;ooivilin and disappll'a r.aI'l{n of t ht' KU I pi ur3!
frol1llM- .ubj«t·s of
MoT'l' precllely. Orozro's work le;Kht'I :K1.lve Ihe prln·
dl'l"s ofiICulplUT31 Mf in Ihe coll"(,,,'"
rendilions of objea 3t
luge. In Ihf lubj",t"s a ... , .. ss 10
1011 ... 11 . 10 brt'31h. and to vision
' in. for exam pit' . /tulIplu rt,1
Nat,,". ''J90)- but Ihm III"y art'
t'qu;lIy conlrolled by Ihe sub-
jKl·$ brcalhles$ slIbmiUK'" 10
Iht' cOlllmotliry's cuerclon. We
from Ihe contemplation of
hb work t h3' k"lIlptnr.tllJ<1ilily
un be found "'Ihe
prt'C3rious of waler
.. "'n in Pi«llrd &III. '993. or I'mm
Roof!/) ROlf. '9931 or lilt' rl"<lgile IUIUret of planu IMLdotts. '9991. Or I« IUddenly
comprehend Ihat iIC" lpt up<>ricno: in til .. pnsem will mon likely origi·
nale ill Ille (unive acddt'nt .or lhal il will be (""nd in Ihe alealoty and indexical
imprint 11'Itld11l,CStonr. '9911. Mml convincingly. Orozco lougue lhal Ihe
d" fining fonn St'Ulptur:.1 budy C'3n ."tJU3Uy Ix-' fOLlnd in r .... dom a ...
of dispersed or IkLtur:ll . or objects (the oT3nges in Cnuy
TOlirUt. 1991. and 1I!/tIIt /tun. 199:1. or Schw;tlbo.· 5(ool(-'n in UWliJ rOIl Hnd AMlh ....
) ......... ·5<1' ... 111 ... 19-'951:al; much a:> il ""n r('$idt' in lin al1lhro!«<,lIIric cr.anium (1JLJd
K'ltl. '997) or Ihe skelelon of a wtkLlt' IMobile' Mu" .... Orozco definn KIIIp-
tun' as a .,...".,Iual be'\wt't'n Ihe myoUd OC" invisibLe
or I he imprinl$ on I hr world. in Dw. llri .... In
Sno .... ' 993. or in \ \lIiflng Choil'S. '9')111. <II mue-h ailM myriad pressures Iht' Inau''''
rl;t.1 "."..kl imprints Oil ,he , ub}«t. T1>:lI an lake I fonn of 311 3Ulocll·
Illonous agglon' er.Ll ion O( dust p;Lnkln (llntriJ. :lOOt ) or oftlle ulli1U.1IC
ohn unromciol.l s. (011«1,"1' sculplural int\·nllOnahly. drcl.lring obj,..,,, a. "Jll.lI·
001 0( pl""".- Ihe 1I0rtObjt.:U and void<'d mal<'1'lal:i or g;arbage illelr(1'rns1.T v,'on:
1'rI;«t. 19'}81.
Ewn in I he mOil radical forms ofsrulptllre oflhe .g6oi. rrom eLK'S Oldenburg
10 Hans Ha;,ckt'. Ihe inct'Nsing dl"tnioollon ohculplllral procrsscs and m.1tCri·
al s slllI befon quar:tnt ined wilhin Ihe sprcificity of a "srulplllr:tl" objea. By
rollll"<ll'. Orozco has uamrcm'" and JLm«'ncs ,nto Ihe .ph,·re of
I m"" «mullon .. .and This i . ..... idem. for ex:unpl.·. ill a roml",ri.
belwt'(-'n Ctmdt-'PULltion Cubt I '963-651 and Orozco's \\'11 " 1I1ch (1'.193)
or fImIlh on (1m ). where 1 hI' proc: ... n or iii one or an inlini .. ·
sculptural eVent. «curring wilhin a found objKl-TOIlhl'r
I han. : .. h."td bro::n .he "'I" with II.-,xk". in a p;anicular rumai""r-III<II
Gobrid Iloo.", _ KiI<>.
0ft'1 GnphI ....... k .....
'h'" "':' ,.,,,. , .. ,.

_"tI_ .. .....
"*1"1' ... "-< ..... ,--
I-n ........ _
"""""- "" .... pI<-.. .......
.......Il00 ........... .
__ 1\ .. ·lJ \·.·· .. -
, .. 0J!l ' '''mj
...... ..-.' .... _,
, ...... cc-.,.. j ' • _
___ 0.-1
'-"(JNo..-.-1O _
I, ali valid as any or i p>.liot .. ml"'r:1l definition. 1IU1 WI' $hould not
himlrically fonm<i dill"
appearing objKI ..,lalions, chow lou and those still H) lhe Subja1. haw
rhangl'd in Ihe P"II ' .... 'O:'lIly ),<,3T'S. Ihe frame of Qrozce)"l riS('
a, the- SCUlptor of his gt'I>er.uion, Therefore. il II not lurprising tOl find a r:lngl' of
un""anl-d malenals and obj«u ((u. o aml'l(', oran8ft and Ikull s, tlUCk and
whalt'bonl'1l and procedurel 3T111 (combining found obj«11
wilh IQgcd a«:umuL:ulonl.:U [n u,"a r<l\j And MoI/w'r \( iIo)w SdM'II1br or UOOl<' •.
or "'gillenn, giVl'1I or alealOl)' procru e. 3. illlcrv,om io;m., :IS in , he
  or Ptmtr WOrt I'rIljtll l in 0r01CO'S extend far beyond t ile
lcctia th.:ot h;ul bn-n lid up bd",..,..n Ouct.;,mp. btotWt't'n
Arman. or ooWftn St-rra aoo Ilene. And in II>ite ofiniti.11 Orozco's
worl( h: fumbmemally of AnI' 10 which
it h.:os bn-n too ollen compMN. After Ant Povero. ",·hl ... ,plU;nrd simlLlr
tran!!itionaL mome m bel"''ffn an ignaLL), cult,,", and I he iml'1'
corpor.niution of object prodll(tion. wu st iLL driven by t lie Min' 10
pum.te lhoe rnidual   ofa troty Llalian art-throu,h implicit or expli<'tl rd·
erennos to the grand n ... terials traditiolls of the , culplural a sep.lrate diJei·
pUne-as nidtm. for in I1M' worlc ofLllciano Fa bro or J.1nnis KOItnt'liis.
or in its ultlmatr OfKUlptu", as a c1O!ed form and diJerNe obj«t.
:u oppooso:d to thr J'O't-c.gcoan concrpt ofsculplun' as an event or an infinitely
extrntU.ble process 1M' perfOI'll\aJKt'.
How. then. ",,,Id "'.., possibly identify and Ik-snibe tht national and hisl ork:tl
sprcitici!)' ofOrolCO's KUl pt un'. tile worlc's Maic.m timrs
peninrm. at Olhel'i fu lly unfalholllllble? Onr could argue. for eJL1lllp .... tl\;ltlht
hisloml and goopolil i(";ll sptC'iticity oft ht> sClIl I>!u res of Beu)" and l"'sOl origi·
"",<'II in the f:an ,ha, both (on tile opposite ofvktimiur a.ld
viniml h;K\ tile annihLL1tlon ofihr hUman subj«t and had reroroed
t he destruclion 'lf the human body nn an industrial .nlr . Furlh,·Tnln..e. onr
could a",'e fonnt hardly. if
r",r, explicitly lIaled-cons tituted 1M foundal iOlUI btelX)' of KUlptort'
",lat ion' t'l materia.,. morpholOJit-s. and Obviously. t hc tpKHkily of
Or'lu:o's hitt'lrical and condition it different . is
an aniSI WhOftm'1IN from a 1I.1Ii'llHlatf cultureWMI1', dnpllf a cominuousty
l'Xp3nding indullirlaliz.:nion. everyday cultu", to bot h ,iUfTer and bc!nd il
from 3 of n'lidU.ill forms uperifncf
a popuLl.tion by myth mighl includ<:' imlrracyor poveny. or 11'
pnlximhy to funlt' of production l_ All Qf thcl'<' condition. In
3 presumed proJrimi!), 10 could lifter amll 10 dif·
fo!'I1'1I1 types of l ub,iKtivily alld obj«1 reLl.lionu
is tho:- functi'ln 'If t he "my, hic tl- in sC' form31ion51 EJampws
might rangc from. once 3g:Jin. lIranrusi ', inVQ(ation 'lra Urllllien'
pl1'industrial idenli!), In IIIe an::hit«lural pea!3l1t c;r.rvingl of his Ronlllnian
rt'gion 10 Orouo', pan icubrdevot lon to surviving fngmr nl .
GAn,no.oleo """"'" Dro", '"
_' • .... t ....
""""",>pi\. , - ,. , J "-
,u < .... 1
c-._of, .. _
l" HnM- ttpt_ """ ....
.,101. fibrqLa ..   ...
....u.. ......... ."" ..
., .. >0' " " '0 nh" .... '4
"·>7.8'0.1 ... .",' ....... .
n.t_ .. _ ",,- _
.....   ... --.... ,
:.nisan31 ]lr.Inicet !lhe UUS" of II'Ir.lNI.I:. or Ioc-;II pbnts. for or obj«'u
      of fuu.'C Maya riIWli5lK (Ille imiJICr>a on Ihe: ctrcuL1r.
or I"" ball"},, Kulpwnl form). or his penchant 10 mobilize
lo-call<'d pl'OCd1utd of n,anuf3ltu", ",nd al'fhak objC<1 'Yl'<'s Iskulli.
Finn of all, Orozco know, full any ob,it'cl laking
rKours.e 10 I he oUII1;u«1 would inevilably   in Ih" Surn'ali.1 cbims of a
p.ln5itk;Il OKCCSS 10 a dysfun(lional and un[nsrrumemaliz«1 objecl experic'n«
thai 00 01 her objoo is pt'mlilled 10 off..,. any long<'r. H" abo undenundll hal any
ICUlptUlOI1 objKI cl.l.iming 3   of [he it'd0Cft OM intO a fr.ludu,
knl   ion. namely the ]xoli"f IhJ\ the iU\lCluring of object t'X\lC'
rielXe could st ill racili1J[e acC'tii 10 an " ncOnlamin:ncd nawrt' wh"n in fact il
will only lolftrate Ihal experieJ\(e:'$ a IPKlaculariz«1 and exc..,..
hon. Thinlly. and posSibly mini imponanl ly. srulplUr.ll regremons mto myt hi·
COIl primi[iviIY. obsolescenC'f'. and [he of Ihe natunl also promj", I I><'
sp:oli,,1 of an ul"'rience III", mn",monic if not IJ>co
utlCa"ny, ofhllving Mn ;11 rrullenlaJ spare befo",hlI"d. as !'",,,d
ddirn:d [hal of sp:llial and objfct Memories oflhll[ .... hich h3$
b.,.,n. and whkll is now n"O)Ik.'Ct • ..! in .\nIlp[II",. can be found in Cornell's
box J.s§emblages. OTt in a "ety ditleft'nt way. in Annan's accumul;uiom. or ...... n In
sculpl""'" d,·':(l(,.,! 10 'hl' menlory of Ihe body: QIlCe this hOld bern dCSfro,'rd
had become il ft'JItl.'St'nlable only:.s Ihe body
In the tll1ions 5<:ull" unl ubjl'<1ja$. for uamplt'. In work by Ev:r
FrOnllhe most arthaic memory ofl>odily ... s 10 t he rnost UI1\<'111
responle 10;' crisis in Iht' prut' nt. Orozco's sculpture has
answero;d ,ndil'jdual and «)1IC!('li"" dcnunds. occurs prt'dst'ly
in the lpact'l belWt'l'n desirable Ir"nsgnuions and Ihe available COlwell1 iOllli of
",la, ing to objE'C1l alld h\,lwt't'n Ihe conception of TOldically difl'ert'nt
It'll Of obj,'(1 relat ions and tIM' exiS1ing pr.ocliQ't of {t)nlrol and C1)I1tamin;ttion <If
Ihe ,ubjrcl wilhin the ruling commodlly regimes. In many ways. Ihe "mex·
ic:lllilnlO" ofOrozeO's work Ihal     his Weslern Europl'an and Amerion
audiomcn original l"J in our own fonnl in ourown <ielirr for " IIt'W
myth of hlIyj ng acren 10 thr n"u"r.l1 world. and In our own       $C'n$C' of
:octi",ly p;lTlklp;lting in the dl.'Slructlon orille remot", "natural" and "mythical"
world. OroU'U" K'UJI'IUr'O' anirubt.·s I hal al "wry n",nWnl oft hl' day"",' an' .n\>.
jfctrd to and promulg:lle t ile accelt'r.llion of [h:1I we witness [fOldi·
lional objt'<1s and malcrialilk>$ 1'3nilh Imdemeath our own hall(b. and t haI ",' ..
K't' Ihem being repl;t«d ag:Unil our will. or oulside 0( our control . by J>col't'lofore
unknown lext"'" and 11 ruet"""" .
-... __ I:<"M._

.5' .. ··21''' . .... .
1"", ' .-· _ .... 1
_ ." -

- ........... . ' ... , .....
,......"" cJ .. __ or
,., .... '" '..,....
.-..0_,... .. .,.
........ wk.,), .. _
poIooo . . ... _ , 'I ' JJ '
,t, .- jj; , '0;." " 'ml
...... _ .. _ ...

-.....;.;.,-, ...
"-.... _c.o. ....
-,_ .........
--.. -
w.o,_ N. _l-. I _ .
Tlll,li Ihecoro«ption oftllC' m)'t hinl in Ororco-ll1C' rnusdl3tion
orthl' lpo!'("ifkilin of myth and in 'he
.... Uu ... -al"'''"1'' au"'n." dl.o'rc, kal ....... .wlln th .. anlu' , ProF('U; ,b:I.
whk h appears;u a n"dtmption objra and 1M ... nc: ... o(tM natur.IIl
time Ih;it   I$JuJptndftlln acondi-
lion 0( 11l1I1«t. of obIill'nlion or obj«t ptl'lnCalM by m)'l h I.
IIC'rr inJlamly as OIW.' 1Ml is :11 ... ,.)" ;l1 ... ;>IIy ",millN ..,.
mtn1 and "ppe:lrlU II'It nabllily ofnl)'lh :ugull. UJ aJ a flitfit'
d«pIy rnon<inl with ll'lt condition of hUtOIl' at a nll:lUmHr. Orozro' , mobiliu-
lion oflhe mlWmonk dilM1loon ohhe obJ«t -at it must apptar 10 1hoe
world - is oft .. n an " nirullll ion onhe' ob;en', forlorn daobl .. rondi-
tion. and a dHirr for iu fulurr .. moancip;lIion. 1!wI one 0( a (dtbratory
10 a de$u;lbilo lilal .. o("'lily. ona allaillftl bul now loR.
conditions ora deill"Of"l 10 matftUl world
0( oo;«t llul could Kill oonJidft'objrcU al l'" !'riult
oflabor. lhal maiMd tht dilIll!'nlionl of l"';r own maklne. lhal tM
funniorui oIuloe v;ahJ,e and I'" I .. mporalily oInlC:lOOf)'-art prob.I.bly tbr nklllliUi.
<ltm moc;v;atlons to bKome a JCUlptOl' in Ihe pJ'\"Jt'nt . and it Oro«<l It
tIM' IiDIIO IlM'm ,1M' ofhb production. !KIm('
other .lO rtisu. fron' andJnon 10 Rxh .. l lbmlOn-k'Ull'loni
who yi .. kIe<I wil hool rrslstanct 10 II\(' unlwrullk'sllunion of objKt "xp'ri'
who have ovnlhe oonmun;on orKUlptllre to tbr merrly hap.
h.:Ict.1rd acnlnHlial inn of I"" grot.-squc. comw.. ... 1 oft .... sh -()rw;co
In.;tlJ on in""ribins a dial«1k. of n.;uun: and culwn: wI! hln Ihe .tructun: of hi.
worlt.11 II a dlaJ.enklt in wllkh It not rqualt'd with •• 1IiflKtion bul with
lulT'oalion. one' in whio:h I he- CNWk't1 ... of objKtJ i, not ('OfTfiati", to
gralificallon bulI0 .. ndk't1 dturunion and lhe dilOlp]X'a .... nf .. ofrHOUKft. .lind
onf in whkb t'" IlI&inw and control OrdHirr by SIr-llre]H ofrontumpllon it
not "" lhorlriumph ",bsli!Uliont but ann intinll" rep'I;'
Ilono(xu «Iou: l"'uagicdHuunion of objKt rXp'rlm« In lhe U al
th" ofOrozn", KUlptu .... J inlrn,il),. Thul whrn.
Mobilt Mcrtrilr- lhe imllllffiH' tule10n 01 a wluk-- in tM lIil:>liot.ta
in Muloo Chy. tJw l]X"OalOl' _confmntrd with an Intfnloe npni-
f"""" on the onr hand II imposs,blt. not to _·s on t ....
di."..ns>On 0( <ltalh and Ih .. ofthc- condition
callrd fonh by the KUJplure' s l"Hul'n'('liQn o(.li burlrd tkfN.lon tram I ....
..,nd. ofa..? Caltfomi:l_ At the whno (()nt .. mp1at11li I .... whak in a
library. It waJ Impouiblr not 10 50'(' il;as a prosnomm.alK" palrmrnl on tM nrp-
lion of t(' ul ptunl ulopian
Ihouehl In Iht
•• though it _no a rrnn--
l ion upon hif\ory of
Conflrul"I, ... I" mQd['rnbt
t<'Ulpture lat. for txampl ...
In Althandr Rodchtnko's
C. ''lao. or Iht ludic opll-
m;,m of Al['"an<\tr C;.ldl'T't
".oblle. of 'he '')30"1 and
It. proud Or playful j"iis •
Il't\(l' on I .... ntp;lrency and
mO<krnhl klf·rrtkxi ... hy.
i u and 11"1"-
gOl'nl .. l hos of"nK'tu .... 1
['wld .. nc ... tuc hlnl Ih ..
Spfn.lOIOI"IOk'C' how lulure and lInK'turr. mati and sravi1y. _[Jlhl and m.1lln
all lnl"""I.1,, to not only dlrfilM' Ihf body 0( a KUlplure btu alto 10 corulilulf a
Ioelf<ooscioui. pt'fUiring. I'hmomotnolcJsinl JUbj«! in 1M .pl'fIaton.,! ;0(1_
lhe archaism and primiti>'ilyo(tM IMlfton. dlrploy«l hfff as '" prllNJ)' modtl

I9SoI ......... 1$'. · '3' . • ,' ..
("" ' »7' 09 MIl
_ ........ , ... -
C-.......... " .-.
-,..... ..... -, ... ""'"

'--t.o IJ$. '99l- J<-pII t __
__ Cio""", D$. $.; :. ; ''''J . .,.....I'>-'
, ........ .." .. ' ,"' ... <It ........ •
...... , • .08..., . ,.,) .:.. "'to, ..... p.oi.tIl.-l poIn..
_ ... _ ..... ,_ ..... ...... · :10·
oOwo<. _., .. c.... ,'1;] ' J.JO'''.-oj
""_ .. _ ..... -
_ ....... .,., .. .-00\'
........ ""--
for ordt-r 51rucfUr.lluppon,lig.nallhe hislorical disappeuancr
nf utopbn hope:1I it Iud '-'n ("rmr.'l"ly .·n,bodi.'d in I he projKtS of modernis\
trom Rodchcnkoand ColderloSern.
One of, I'll' '11J{'"ions Ih3\ migh. rmerge .. ·ould what Kul ptur.l
production 'hil momcm in his-
lOry would havr 10 nlobllizr .he
rHourcrs and IhfO ficl ions of .he
my. I grounds of subJI-r •• vil)"
in order 10 101.,,1 dinolu-
lion of t hc $Ubject and of
objecc rxpetitnce wil hin a ll)'Slem
or tt'("hnO(r.I'ir control.
Anolhcrqurs'ion migh. fonllr
rrgi",,,. in which ouch
lo_mingly mono tkeply in!iCribed
01" mo .... hardt-ned ft'"tuft'S of fi co
titim" or au,hentk iden'ity might
Would Iht'S(' r pc;OUfR1 have
to in the Irga-
O('i ofl he OOIlion-stale. :o simulate
alli, udcs'o make Ih .. spec'alor
comider the of an ahe ...
n.lle objKt different from IIIr giV!'n one of total ."dminiilr..ion and
Or W(M.J 1d ' hcl'C rrroUrH'1 work on I he onler 0( .he uncOil-
Kious (aJ in Ille SurrealiSl (lr   in 1Ieu)'ll and HesSt.')?
Or would to to newlydi!iCovered Ofall
indu!;Irially foOllol:d sp::1i.::lily'?This could r;lilgr from t ho: srolpillr::.l work oI"8ernd
and lima Il«brr. where. lie u. rrme sp«ificiry ofi heir rulion·s.ate identily a5
pos.war c;...mlan artisl5 could newr be from Ihe universality of t ht>lr
conccption ortbr $(Ulptur.oJ ;u thc indusnl.:,J. In 5(>.,.,1.$ n'«1I' l:iflll'-se;ole works.
th ... oflhe acquirn an
of the sublime .... ithln Ihe spherr and acquilt's
an unuprcted, specifically American Ir::.i •. l'unhef1llOn. 10 what
would . his .nob ili .... 'wn nfa my' hkal un,. y br' .... l ... n .ubj«t alld .ub)<'C1 (as in
ethnjcJJly. Tf'ligiously. or n:uion.olly defini."<I idemi' btI ... · ..... n subj«t
c.&,\tI 0._ "" n-blw
"",..,." 't')' Twool ......
• ' , . 11' ',' CU.l '
f ..... or'
... .., _"""
.n) .... '" II, 0 .Ur. .. ...,.. .'
and objKI C.u in Ihe fiction forms Ui'len.:eand
anisanal produClion), and betWftn nalUI!' and culluI!' mel!'ly lake   10
'" Onion I hal liD long'" a "xc of any hi"o"ic;ol . "alily? And to,
degl!'(' WOUld it be 10 It\;Il Ihe dl."l']'l SIn.Ktu"" Of cultu ... l·
idemily formal ion are imriniicaUy iJUCribed wilh I deceptions and I tw.- Inflic·
lions arrort!; ng lowhkh a lubjKt had origin:tlly b«onlC' an ;n,,,, ... 1 in
lhe proc..'J$ alld prenurl'll of pOlitical subjKllon. once called Ihl' format ion of
IUliona] kk-ntily?
In his by now dassie lUI on Ihe form"lion orlhe nalion'>lale and iu ioko-
logical functions, Benedkt Anderson Ir.K'I'iIlh .. dl"l .. nnInlng Unks bt'lween dis.:cp-
pc'arill$ idenlitles and emerging nalional idenllties. iupposC'dly
35 subslilulions for the IoJs of Iubje<:ti\'e uperience in cullk pr.>elias.1 Not sur-
pril ingly. Aod" rJOn" p""pNtlve I. Ih:lI of 1M histOrian. 1M funclion of
as from Ihe ethnic. Ihe ", ligiOU5.
and l ilt' rt.aILonalinic in a laI1ler pl'OCfiS of al!' I'Iewor addressN. Yel .
inevilably. Ihe   Wt)Uki have 10 occupy a major« in any $U(h confid·
er-ulon since ilis I'I","ally and sulwersive.luspended betwffn cull
and political rule. connktl'd belW('('n loy.>lty and dlwllnl lrnce 10 rrIi8;OUS.
lhe mythlnl. {I'M: historical . and ( I'M: processes ofidentil), formallon.
Aeslhl"lic p",clict'S have always insisted on an t'Ssential t'Xtralt'rrilorialily. and
on t he ulop;an notion ofa uniVl:rs>llubjK1. Or I h.,- haVl' insisted on lhe 'emt.,.
ri:llilY mlhel, proper ttws and colwemlolll. as much as on Ihe n$ of their
installli;ulons as lilt' solely valuable nonnallw or romp,natlVl' )cogllint:l·
lions. This is yt'l anollM'r p;t ... dox opens up: 1M vt'ry ronvt'nllonalilY of
3nillic boguage and aesthellc would M inu'eJ.'eiy bound up
wilh Ilw: JubjK!:'J fomt:llion within lhe coordln;ues of
This fundamt'ntal dualily-of rorrobo ... titlJ! and dillodging
I or id/:nlil)' furmal lon_ongin:tllng in CUlt and sUI" applid all
Ihe mol!' 10 Ihe moment;n whkh emerging <'I;Vnomkand ll'ChnolQgical onIrl'$
lhe l>rimary p.1ramelers of I,", lubjec1' 1 currenl cOnstilUlion. offering a
C'Umpc'Uing)YI myth":al and idl'Ologinl deception $ubj«1's pn'Sullwd tran·
Of lhe nalion's tmitional paramelers. JU51 <IS the enlfrging economic
and lochnolusical "'lJi ml"l a InlQo glob;Jllud cullu .... and a final dlU(llu·
lion ofthe nation's falal bonds. wlw:n {he cuncepr. of nation-naIl' iuelf is
being displace<! b)o t'C'Onomic and orden of Ihe ques-
lion roncrmill$ It... IilnnionJ of Ihe aesl helk within tlw: dialN'l ioc Ofido!nllfin·
lion becomeJ ailihe mOl!' IIlit'm. The IW'W orders St"tm 10 imblle t he idrology of
Ihe nalton'Slat<' with mythical pOWe". simib,lO IhO!ie 11\;11 religion
mighl ha ..... had allhe nlOn.ent Ofill di»olulion. When u ComCf locultu ... lp ......
duction ...... tiolHlille identilil'S now It:lVl' 10 be acknowledl!l'd at a or deter-
mirt.allon_aI3precondllion fur any conSlruction ofa m .... n'unk dimrnslun In
lhe worlr ofa .. _tlt:ll h.1ltO be overcome In ordrr lu anirulate lhe llKI'Hity of an
;u'S1oolc IrarugTHSion of all t'Xlemal condillonl of uv.-rdelt'mlln:tllon.
Wha, make< Iht' a".1 1><-11, an inlt'gml wilhin thll'SC' IJ mainly
ilt functions wilhin I he foret' field of cbiml. As
religious conlinilSions since Iht' RelUlH.lJlCt' had alw:t)"l bt-en IUrpaSIN b)o Ihdr
jUlnt .. rly .-o ....... ption rx<'Clllion as primaril), ",!'Ving th ... jUrameter$ of
Ihelic ambilion. so wn-e Iht' benevolent or impetioul boundaries
",ltu,.., t""'pa' >N b)o artillk In pIlI'lUit Mthcir prim.,f')' a ... ,lIC'cic
dt:l.lltngt'i Ihe oonllruclioo of a ')"Ilem. Ihe applin.
, i"" of" I hrury of .-olor In p.:timing. or Ihe prog:r:lmnutic reveLllion of
tht' unconscious work. 10 name bullhref' major from Ihe immen",
KOI'" of Wttt"m painting). even If ch.1llengu ",,,,re al allll ... rNI'1)aC'
li""l), honored and ofJid;aliy , b imed by Ihe poIitiul pOwen of tile
as Ilw:ir progeny (a5lQlian RmainallCf painling • .u f rench ImpreJSioni sm
Or French Surreali'ml. Umt' principle mighl be 31 work in Ihe pre",nl
.1 .... lion. gJoba] """'P"i:.:n"''' of!dcn.hir< 1>:0, ma<Ie . be prindp'''' of
ndl.,ng<' ''''hlf surpluJ .... Iul' muimizalion the rule ;}C'«If'[jlllllO .... hkh w!)-
jecu are colll'Cfi, ... ly ronsmKtM. PerpelUo1.lIy oscillaling between a mobiliz.:tlion
, ..... """' ....... """, ....
_",. (M-II " .... ... I
' ... _01 _""
G.l1o<IoI 0n>I:< .. -.od..... Jo>'.f cu..I.o. _
'W7 en","",," "" . kw., c-.. ........... "lilt
I ' ' " 5 " ', 1>1-" 11,7' _1""""1- r..,...,...
'50''''') 1ft .. . . ..... , .. . .. ".)
_' I' · _ .. An
-, .. ""-'" '" """' ...... _. -....,
of earlirr
manifrn dim·
of. if nol oUlrighl 01'1'0'
.lIion II>. , h .. 1I .. ", ly .. rging
principles of Id"nll·
fiullon. OrolCO'S work pilYI
ou, ill refnencello mylh
nalional id'c"nlily Ihe
dellll;OIu of the .lob;)liu'Cl SIIb-
jecl, p<'rfurming I n«es>'ll)'
qm."m and romnlalions ofth<:o
con"ruclions of a
n .... global
An of a wor k in
whkh bul h OroKO', konogr .. ·
phy alld ,,):lltrial pr.:o",dun"o)
of mal<,' I hl''>'! nllJ.t ..... id'ml Iii 6lcIrir ki,..,. from
'997. a human ,kuli rov .. ""<.1 in an inl ric:lle j;r.Iphile chl'Cktrbooni. The work'ii
ItnK1ulOll opp<.>SlIi<.>n n.1ture and cullure finds its correl'l1i>'t in t he oppo-
Jilion III,' Wt'mingly immulable Medan iconognphy oflhe skull land
dealhod.;:'V1}(l'<l ali apparenlly found.J.tioll.ll t le"'tm ",llu""
from archaic ril" 10 Ihe Wl>rks of JO!C l'ola<b) and Illc ""I)' lechnological inKripi On Ih ... kull 's surface by a c.a.., fully .applitd
  whlJw onltr iilglUlslh .. KWnllfH; dimenskms
of rug";' i>'t and rt'ffl:'p1Ual mapl,;ng in r<"CellI I,ai IIled}' pracllce. of  
tlon (5uch ;tilhe of 8ridgel Rill')' l. HiStoric imny has it Ihallen }'Nn
lal ... Bri, i.h an i>l Him w"ukl "1' on o.vzc,,·s un('anny o;<" 1('<1lOn
of ; human skull at a sculp'u!'\' ",il lI his work r1ll' I"" LoI't' of God IZ0011-a skull
'lW3l l1ed III diamondS-ll>ough il is In th ... diffCTl'Tl liation botwa''' tho: tWl> ...
I hal I hi>lorical and I hl'Oll.'lical dlw'lIencn M'COme mOil apparent . Orozco·,
return 10 one ofthl:' "foundational- kons of his nalional ident ity ntablishes
t hc 1\111 :;cope of I c<,mtr.ldkt;ons I I he of any id,'nl ily  
including Ihe wilh systems of unconsdoul determina·
lioo and conlrol. Khcn1l's of pollli ... l. idt'C>logiol. alld ecunomic inl('R'!i1
gulSl:'d "1kIIunl"   of subjKtlVily. 'rllese "natural " foulld.1lions of
tilt Mlbji'Ct al't U,lIlsande1l in Ihe an. of litq;ui!ilk and rommuniGIlil't'
an icuLalions wilhln spedHc opf'r.1.I1\'t prac"cn. such aSlhl:' ab5lran
ric dr.lwing a f ognil''''' of lh ... k"ll. Th,,, I he 'pl:'<ific'h y of Ih" local.
I't'gional, and nalional oprr.nes as a mnemonic regine!' in Ornzco's
'0 artkuble I t\., complex proCl'U of ,Ubjl'('\ formal;on a. Ol1e of in ...... itably
originaling. yel 11t.'«'Stolri ly beinJl emancip;l1ed from, all fannl of mythical mb.i«'
lion. 8)' ronlr.lSI. Hir.,,·! model. particularly in il' claim 10 h.ll't' ,1 Il'gltimale
basi. 10 cil,· Ihe JUI' 'C I",dilion of rncru.lillt: skulls wil h pr<"Ci<l>US d('liv.
ers Ihe 51 riking of a Ilnlversal !'IOIudulence (ac" IICll(':111y called "kll.scll"
in I",dilional p.arlancl:'l in pre-
ICI1dmll lhal 'mbj("C:hvily would
now in udu.lil'tlyron·
sl ilU,ed ill Ih" n.'Shlen of syn,.
bulie Ilgn uctLangl:' Y,llue and
JU'l'h'J .... 111" maxin"Llnon.
Orozco', di:llrcliCl.1 melhod
of umuhanl'Ously a

Un",enlllil), has obvl,
ous once in rece nt
Jt'riN of SCUlplUI'\'I.
in Mexico In tile 'pri ng or
lOO9. made from n.llIur.l.l variJ

Related Interests