Thursday, 22 October 2015

Odradek's Cousin?

I was riding along the street enjoying the Autumn sunny weather when suddenly I noticed an object in the street. Squashed, you could see the indents in the metal and the plastic which demonstrated how much force the object had experienced whilst lying on the road. 

Interestingly the red lipstick 'bled' from within the tube, and had smeared on the outside. How very human-like! I was immediately intrigued by the object, and delicately picked it up and carefully carried it back to my studio.

Squashed lipstick - could it be Odradek's cousin?

It got me thinking about 'things' which is a continuing internal dialogue I am experiencing at the moment, having been totally immersed in my theory class which is about the same topic - 'Things'.

Some of the heady questions we have been discussing lately are whether it is possible to kill a thing by naming it? And this made me think about how we personify objects.

There is an interesting short story written by Franz Kafka who wrote about Odradek - an object that defies description that lurks in the corridors of the home, an undefinable object that has been anthropomorphised and has been given the human qualities of talking, laughing, and lurking. Whilst it is not possible to define exactly who or what Odradek is, one possible interpretation is that Odradek represents any useless, harmless object that is kept around for no reason. 

In a sense my found object, the squashed lipstick, is a kindred spirit to Odradek who was found on the street and is currently lurking in my studio. Who knows what adventures it will get up to next? 

Despite its current form, it is likely that this object will outlive me.

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