Thomas Locher/Hans Weigand

Salzburger Kunstverein

“I know that what I’m saying is wrong, but still I think it could be right,” reads the inscription on one of Thomas Locher’s chairs. It articulates the fundamental problem of the modern subject: it admits the inadequacy of language to grasp the world, yet sees in language the central mode of the cognitive process. But language is not just inadequate, it also falsifies until it is revealed to be ideological. Paradoxically, the only promising—because analytic—critical tool of such constructions is still language. Locher’s work is concerned with this split subject, who, without being able to discard his instruments must work with them. The schizophrenia of this consciousness is characterized by both a persistent adherence to the referential function of language as a system of signs, and a vehement defense against distortions.

If discursive representation seems to fail, can figurative representation

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the December 1993 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.