Sculpture of Nowhere: The Problem of Nothing in the work of Fred Sandback
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By simply letting the interior of sculpture empty and reconfiguring the correlation between an object and its contextual space, light, and spectators, Fred Sandback's work engages with the problem of nothing in sculpture in a double way. On the one hand, it concerns the Greenbergian formalism by investigating how the transcendentally self-sufficient object is constituted. On the other hand, it concerns the Cagean anti-aesthetics by showing how an immanence of life is affirmed through a processional interaction between object and space. His sculpture of nothing is both about a determinate object in an ironically formalist mode and about indeterminable conditions of object. To look deeper the artistic value of this practice, this thesis examines another mode of aesthetic negativity, the literature of un-word in Beckett's NOT I. If Beckett calls his text as "a next next to nothing," NOT I is about nothing both as a process to indeterminably puncture the normative conventions of the language and an invention of a determinate method to capture this process. The similarities and differences between Sandback and Beckett will etch the further implications of Sandback's "sculpture of nowhere."