El Lissitzky, Rick Dolphijn

Lissitzky Space: New Materialist Experiments

This surely sounds promising! The Van Abbe Museum in Eindhoven and the University of Utrecht have organized a one-day conference on new – materialist inspired and Deleuzian – takes on the work of El Lissitzky.

Some snapshots from the description of the talks (from their website) – wouldn’t want to miss these..

Andrej Radman (Delft University of Technology)

Deleuze and Guattari go beyond Worringer’s two aesthetic modes from his Abstraction and Empathy (1907), where the former refers to the pure abstraction of flat geometric forms (Egypt) and the latter to the naturalistic and representative empathy. They counter-effectuate both these modes to arrive at their very condition which lies in a more radical potentiality. This is by no means a third way. It is a spatium (smooth space) or the movement from which all bodies or matters unfold. In the words of El Lissitzky: “Every form is the petrified snapshot of a process. Therefore, work is a station in evolution and not its petrified aim.” This is the gist of reciprocal determination of the virtual and actual, where the material cause is tied to the incorporeal effect which, in turn, operates as a quasi-cause.

Rick Dolphijn (Utrecht University)

Introducing pangeometrics or axonometrics into the occidental abstract visual arts, the work of El Lissitzky offers us a Baroque interiority as a radical alternative to the focus on exteriority that dominated the arts for so long. Introducing a mannerism into abstraction he offered us an affective notion of space that proves to be of great importance to architecture today. In the work of Spuybroek for instance, we recognize the “sympathy for things” that refuses hierarchy, the facade and the cold modernism that marked the 20th century.


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