Modernist (R)evolution: Susanne Weirich's Homo Generated Ontology of the Eternal Return

09/04/2014 05:57 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

In bidding farewell to the old, we make the way for the New...


The Badiouian ontology of number discloses the source of a modernist epic narrative in the stacking of the Chinese "takeaway box" and death of binary (2), as well as the autonomy of the number three (above).

The arrival of a New Modernist Movement reveals the everyday (below) continuum of life/death/rebirth (below) as the cycle of modernism itself.

This object(ive) is ingeniously self-contained in Susanne Weirich's breakthrough multimedia installation CHINESE BOXES exhibition at the Kunstverein Ruhr in Essen.

The (speculative) object marrying east/west and spirit/matter is ming bai. According to the exhibition statement, these paper imitations of objects of mass consumption:

... play a role in a ritual context by being sacrificed and burnt, for the most part during the Qingming Festival, the Chinese day of the dead. These paper objects assist the dead in their passage to the afterworld, and enable surviving family members to maintain contact with them long after their burial. This is done by interpreting the rising smoke and the flight of the ash.

A genuine irony is that these paper copies of consumerist multiples are hand-crafted, which offers a sharp commentary on the postmodern and the after-postmodern movements where the Xerox of a Xerox gave way to the oscillation between the fake (counterfeit copies) and desire for the (Speculative Realism) object(ive).

The Weirich ritual modernizes the eternal return as a homo generated act of alchemically transforming...



...the binary 2.0 (the burning copy of the laptop above) into the spirit...


...by means of ancient burial practices (the metaphysics of the "takeaway" above as ontological excavation) uncovering the DASEIN of ever-present origin where life/death/rebirth are in a continuum.

Weirich's female genius establishes modernism itself as the Eternal Recurrence of life (the creative impulse of the New), death (postmodernist reflection) and rebirth (the oscillations of the after-postmodern) giving way to the Third, a new modernist impulse.


Baldiousian Multiples: The six art-i-facts on the gallery wall as the number of the ever-present origin and 9 rows of 5 = 45 hats (4+5 = 9) as ontology for endings.


The death of binary code 2.0 (the ritual burning of the laptop with designer LIKE) as a Badiousian modernist movement in Weirich's "serial object-landscape": 10 rows of 21 Chinese boxes = 210 = 2+1 = 3, the Third/3.0!

The ming bai object(ive) to marry the industrial west with the ritual transformation of the object(ive) in eastern burial customs continue to be practiced today, yet this ontology of embodiment...


... takes a microscope to detect, establishing the contemporary entanglement between art and science as a self-contained...


...communication with spirit...


...the DASEIN of heaven & earth...


...leaving traces for the living.

Lisa Paul Streitfeld is a philosopher, theorist and cultural critic based in Berlin. A Ph.D. candidate at European Graduate School, she is publishing Hermeneutics of New Modernism with Atropos Press.

All photos by Lisa Paul Streitfeld and published with permission of the artist.