A series of laws aimed at suppressing civic activism, intimidation of the population, steadily growing number of political prisoners, the laws against NGOs, the 18+ laws, censorship laws, activity of Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media, “promotion of homosexuality” laws … All this has been done in order to turn people into gutless and securely guarded cattle, which can only consume, work, and reproduce.
– Pyotr Pavlensky
(Dmitry Volchek, “Cultural Diary: On Good Friday», Radio Liberty, May 8, 2013)
The Thing is uncanny. Relating with abjectivity, The Thing transcends sex, gender and enters the Thing. The Thing is frightfully queer. Incongruous, baffling, (q)eerie, dubious, deviant and aberrant. Of course, The Thing is conceptual. Purely categorical, the Thing, this Thing, that Thing, etc all relate to a schema, a taxonomy of abstracted classification based on consistencies. So how does The Thing exhibit itself? The entity of The Thing, sometimes referred to as an ‘object,’ has an inner coherence, ipseity, heredity — otherwise it would break down into All-Thing — which would be Being as Being simply what it is and this is No-thing. Thing only exists with internal coherences, and internal coherences only exist with differences, and differences only exist with singularities, dubious or deviant splits. The Thing is doubly queer because of its coherence. Categorically assumed to be x, y or z, yet straining to maintain the Suchness of its Thing-ness. The strain to be The Thing is exacerbated by subjectivity. The Thing with subjectivity is an is ipseity within Being that recognises itself as The Thing and not just. Something extra emanates from the The Thing like an aura; a remainder reminds reifying and disturbing the salience of The Thing. This Thing is, but it cannot be all there is as it is separated from Things; another abstracted – yet plural – signifier/category for figures on the ground of Being. If this Thing rests/writhes on the ground of Being, then what is Being? Being is The Thing. The Thing is what magically produces in its relations with Other Things (a rock on the beach), singularly, uncannily, dubiously, deviantly, an internal coherence; and internal coherences are not possible when Being is simply what it is, for then it is Nothing.
The Russian artist, Pyotr Pavlensky (b. 1984) confronts The Thing. His work evokes Thinging-Selfing In Relation To Other Thinging-Selfings (aka political articulations) actuating the fragility of coherences under State apparatuses. Authoritarians police, prosecute and imprison on multiple registers. Entering/generating the Symbolic, fighting the ‘Name/No/Law of the Father’ Pavlensky-Thing Recognising Itself As Thing and simultaneously applies Daddy’s Law parametrically. Daddy cannot handle lines, which can be traversed in either direction. He cannot handle his Thing. He needs the Law to handle his Thing, this Thing, that Thing, etc. Every-Thing is handled by the Law. Interpenetrating The Thing, a phenomena of Being, the Law generates fleshthoughts. Intrasubjectivity is generated intersubjectively. The Intimate Thing, the chimera of Self, intimately creeps about; it is walking, sleeping, eating, shitting, protesting, driving, sweating, sitting, swimming, and occasionally thinking etc. It worlds the world with worlds. This Thing is interpenetrated by the Law, sucked into matrices and structures beyond its control, yet it (struggles to) maintain internal coherence. Colloquially or unthinkingly called ‘human,’ this Thing recollects itself amongst Others. It mobilises Things against their internally coherent entropy toward a project. It instrumentalises its environ, enclosing and disclosing itself though entities which are not itself. Other Things circulate epigenetically, in the biome, that is this Thing. Touching this intersubjectivity between Things is outside of standard conceptual categories for subjectivity.