Endless Andness: The Politics of Abstraction
In Endless Andness, Mieke Bal pioneers a new understanding of the political potential of abstract art which does not passively yield its meaning to the viewer but creates it anew - an art perceived not only through the retina but experienced viscerally. In this book, the third of her companion volumes on art's political agency, Bal explores perception through an intense engagement with the work of Belgian sculptor Ann Veronica Janssens. In a series of vividly-recalled encounters with Janssen's practice over a number of years, Balpresents a new conception of embodied perception - art experienced in a body conjured into participation and transformed by the experience. From Janssens' 'mist room' works and the CorpsNoir sculptures through to the fugitive, porous Aerogel, Bal traces an art which eludes the subject-object distinction to alter our ideas about the potential of political art in abstract and figurative forms. Enticing us simultaneously to lose ourselves and to come home, the tenuous materiality of installation art empowers those who live in the permanently lost and migratoryc ondition that characterizes contemporary experience. In celebrating and interrogating the work of this prolific and innovative artist, Mieke Baltransforms our understanding of non-representational art to create a new awareness of perception and performance in the shared spaces of our world.