kassel

Josh Kline, Creative Hands (detail), 2013, silicone, commercial shelving, LED lights, 36 1/2 x 26 x 15 1/2". From “Speculations on Anonymous Materials,” 2013–14.

“Speculations on Anonymous Materials”

Fridericianum

Josh Kline, Creative Hands (detail), 2013, silicone, commercial shelving, LED lights, 36 1/2 x 26 x 15 1/2". From “Speculations on Anonymous Materials,” 2013–14.

“Speculations on Anonymous Materials” was the first exhibition held at Kassel’s Fridericianum under the museum’s new director, Susanne Pfeffer. Its title is programmatic, taking up terms that have recently gone viral in the debates on aesthetics. Speculation and material are traditionally conceived as near antonyms. To speculate is to think about God, infinity, and the absolute—in short, speculation is metaphysics—while materials are a matter of physics. But with the current buzz around “speculative materialism,” all this seems to have changed. The French philosopher Quentin Meillassoux, in particular, has argued that materialism should no longer close itself off to speculative thinking. And so people also speculate—as was the case in this exhibition—about the visual materials that flood the anonymous networks regulating the flow of information and capital

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